1. Jeremy Cash, JUNIOR, SAFETY
Last Week: 1
Cash is one of 15 semifinalists for the Thorpe Award, an honor presented to the nation’s top defensive back. Duke’s famed bend but don’t break defense has has accounted for 14 interceptions or turnovers this season and the Ohio State transfer has factored into five of those.
2. Devon Edwards, SOPHOMORE, SAFETY
Last Week: 2
Mr. November was at it again last week, returning a kickoff for 99 yards against Pittsburgh. Edwards earned the name a season ago by returning kickoffs for touchdowns in victories over N.C. State and North Carolina. In addition to leading the ACC in return average (30.4/return), Edwards has had himself a season as a safety. Currently the sophomore has a squad-high seven pass breakups, standing second with 42 solo stops and ranking third with 72 tackles.
3. Jamison Crowder, SENIOR, RECEIVER
Crowder is getting healthier and his production is jumping because of it. The senior caught nine passes at Pittsburgh to increase his career total to 247. He enters this week’s game ranked second in ACC his- tory for career receptions, behind only former Blue Devil Conner Vernon. He enters the week with 3,233 receiving yards, which is also good for seventh on the ACC career chart.
3. David Helton, SENIOR, LINEBACKER
Last Week: 4
Helton had a season high 18 tackles against Pittsburgh last week, and enters Saturday’s contest with at least 15 tackles in four career contests - two this season (against Troy and Pitt). Helton leads Duke with 87 stops this season. He owns nine career games, all in the last two years, with 10 or more tackles.
5. Anthony Boone, SENIOR, QUARTERBACK
Last Week: 5
Duke’s game managing senior continues to play mistake free football, and has moved his regular season record to an astounding 17-1 as a starter. He’s winning games at a higher percentage than any signal caller in Duke history, and one more win will make him the all-time winningest quarterback in Blue Devil history. In the last two games it’s been about fast starts as Boone has completed 17-of-20 passes (85% completion pct.) with three touchdowns during the first quarters.
6. Laken Tomlinson, SENIOR, OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
Last Week: 6
Tomlinson remains one of the more powerful and consistent players on the roster, and will likely be the highest player taken from the roster in the NFL Draft. He leads an O-line unit that has allowed only 4.0 sacks on the season, tied for the fewest among FBS programs in sacks per game. Additionally the line has surrendered just 20 negative plays on ht season. Tomlinson is tied for the second longest current streak of consecutive games started among active NCAA FBS linemen with 47.
7. Shaquille Powell, RUNNING BACK
Last Week: NR
While the stable approach limits any one back from jumping too far up the list, Powell has been Duke’s go to back when the Blue Devils need a late game performance. Against Pittsburgh, in double overtime, Powell ran Duke 19 yards on two carries to set up the game winning plunge by Thomas Sirk. Powell was also the catalyst for Duke’s win over Georgia Tech, with a powerful running performance to set up the game winning score. It’s been a breakout performance for the power junior this season as he’s rushed for 308 yards, without a yard lost all year. Through eight games in 2013, Powell had just 121 rushing yards.
8. Will Monday, JUNIOR, PUNTER
Lask Week: 7
Monday enters the week as the ACC’s active leader in punting average (43.83) and is eighth on the ACC career punting average. He’s booted nine punts for 50 or more yards on the season. He’s helped Duke control the battle of field position this season. Monday was recently named one of 80 candidates for the 2014 Ray Guy Award.
9. Ross Martin, JUNIOR, KICKER
Last Week: 8
It’s hard to argue with perfection, which is what Martin has achieved this season. The junior kicker has hit all of his field goals and all of his extra points. Martin is already the program’s career leader in points and has converted at least one point in 35 straight contests. Martin has totaled 68 points (11 FG, 35 PAT) through eight games this season. A year ago through eight contests, Martin had 51 points (6 FG, 33 PAT).
10. Shaun Wilson, FRESHMAN, WIDE RECIEVER
Last Week: NR
The freshman remains the Blue Devils’ most explosive back, though the fireworks settled down after he torched Kansas for 245 yards. That performance still has the first year player from Charlotte leading all FBS players in yards per carry with a 9.60 mark. However, Wilson has shown himself to be a threat on swing passes out of the backfield as well. He’s second n the team with 698 all purpose yards, trailing on Jamison Crowder.
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