Duke has had some bad luck with injuries in the offseason, and those injuries have created some uncertainty at a few positions. Here are the three position battles to keep an eye on as the Blue Devils go through preseason camp:
- Nose guard: Nose guard Jamal Bruce underwent surgery in July to repair a stress fracture in his right foot and leaves a hole up front for Duke. Bruce was named the most improved defensive player following spring practice, and there aren't a lot of options behind him. Redshirt sophomore Steven Ingram was listed behind Brown on the depth chart, and Nick Sink is the back-up at the defensive tackle spot behind Sydney Sarmiento. Redshirt freshman Sam Marshall and true freshman Carlos Wray will compete for time. True freshman Keilin Rayner has also moved from linebacker to nose guard to provide depth.
- Pass catchers: Wide receiver Blair Holliday was critically injured in a watercraft accident in July and projected starting tight end Braxton Deaver fractured a kneecap while training for the season. Jamison Crowder will step in alongside Conner Vernon at wide receiver, but the Blue Devils need to find out who fits in behind those two. Running back Desmond Scott will see some time as a slot receiver. Redshirt freshman Nick Hill will factor in and true freshmen Max McCaffrey and Anthony Nash could compete for time. McCaffrey is the son of former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey. David Reeves and Issac Blakeney will try to fill in for Deaver at tight end.
- Kickers: Kicker Will Snyderwine and punter Alex King graduated, and the Blue Devils will have to replace both in 2012. Redshirt freshman Will Monday enters camp atop the depth chart at both kicker and punter. However, Duke welcomes in highly touted freshman kicker Ross Martin. Martin will be on scholarship in Durham, and coach David Cutcliffe has high expectations for him this year. Still, Martin will have to win the job in the preseason.
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