What Daniel Helm Brings To Duke

The Blue Devil football program got big news last week when Tennessee freshman tight end Daniel Helm announced he’d transfer to Duke. So what does the former four star prospect bring to Coach Cutcliffe’s program? We’ve got the answer.


Coming out of high school Daniel Helm was rated as the No. 178 player in the country regardless of position by Scout.com and the third best tight end in America. As a senior at Chatham (Ill.) Glenwood High he recorded 35 catches for 565 yards and 13 touchdowns. He doubled as a strong safety, playing two way football, and totaled 68 tackles with four pass breakups and an interception.

Scout.com national analyst Allen Trieu covers Illinois for the network and offered this opinion on Helm:

“He’s an excellent receiver who can split out or play in the slot and create mismatches. Fluid route runner with good body control and excellent ball skills. Catches passes at their highest point and does a great job of adjusting to passes in the air. Does come in as an in-line tight end and gives good effort as a blocker, but still has to fill out and get stronger. Still, he has all the tools to be a very good in college."

Not only was Helm a big time prospect on the field, off the field he was just as good with a 5.3 grade point average and a 32 scored on the 2013 ACT.


Helm graduated from Glenwood High early and enrolled at Tennessee as 6-foot-4, 215 pound true freshman in January of 2014. From there he put in a lot of time in the Volunteer’s weight program and was ready to play when August rolled around.

“The transformation of his body over the summer was big as far as he looks much bigger,” said UT tight ends coach Mark Elder at the start of preseason practice in Knoxville. “He’s put on a lot of good muscle.”

That added weight and strength paid off as Helm ended up starting twice and played in all 12 games, catching six passes for 37 yards over 12 games including a season-high two catches for 16 yards versus Florida on October 4. In addition, he caught a two-point conversion in Tennessee’s 35-32 loss to No. 12 Georgia on September 27.


Helm will enroll at Duke this week and will immediately become the highest rated high school prospect on the roster. He’ll be able to participate in Spring Practice in February, but will sit out the 2015 season per NCAA transfer rules.

Currently the Blue Devils’ depth chart begins with returning senior Braxton Deaver on the first team and rising fourth year junior Erich Schneider as the second stringer. Following those two are rising sophomore David Koppenhaver who played early on in the season as a true freshman, and rising fourth year junior Dan Beilinson.

In two years, when Helm is eligible, Deaver will be gone. Both Schneider and Beilinson could also move on depending on what they decide to do with their fifth year of eligibility. The Blue Devils will also welcome four star 2016 commit Mark Birmingham who is considered the No. 206 player in the class of 2016.

If the plan holds, Helm will be the favorite to step in alongside Birmingham and Koppenhaver in August 2016, giving Duke’s passing game a big time target and providing the running game yet another high end blocker.

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