6-foot-3 / 260 pounds
Leland (NC) / North Brunswick
Rayner saw action early in the season, appearing in the first three games of the season as well as against Miami, Georgia Tech, and Virginia. In his 65 total snaps he added five tackles to the team’s tally including a pair of stops in the blowout win over Kansas.
Rayner enters his fourth season in Durham having played in just 11 games and recording seven tackles. He begins the season charted third on the defensive tackle spot behind Carlos Wray and Mike Ramsay. He’s also battling redshirt freshmen Quaven Ferguson, Edgar Cerenord, and true freshman Brandon Boyce for the reps behind starters Wray and AJ Wolf.
Rayner came into Duke as a fairly highly rated middle linebacker, but was eventually converted to the defensive line after his redshirt season. He’s a very strong player - boasting a team best 425 pound bench press - but has not seen that strength translate into meaningful minutes on the field. With the recruiting continuing to ramp up and with Rayner entering his fourth season of eligibility, you have to wonder if he can’t find his way into the rotation this season, if his window at Duke hasn’t closed.
How he ended up in Durham
Rayner picked Duke over North Carolina, East Carolina, and Ohio State in a Signing Day decision. Other offers for Rayner included North Carolina State, Tennessee, Clemson, Wake Forest, and South Carolina.
Rayner also earned an invite to the Shrine Bowl after registering nearly 300 tackles in his final two seasons of high school ball.
High School Highlights
Four-year letterman at North Brunswick under coach Garry Bishop ... charted as the No. 36 middle linebacker in the nation by Scout.com…as a senior, posted 164 tackles — two shy of the school single-season record — to lead a North Brunswick defense that held four opponents to less than 10 points ... first team all-state selection by ESPN.com and NCPreps.com in 2011 ... first team all-area selection by the Wilmington Star News ... two-time first team All-Waccamaw 2A/3A Conference honoree ... recorded 127 tackles, seven tackles for loss and two sacks as a junior ... had 74 tackles, nine tackles for loss, five sacks and four caused fumbles during sophomore season [info from this last section gathered from GoDuke.com]