1. Jeremy Cash, SENIOR, SAFETY
Last Week: 1
Cash continued has been named one of 16 semifinalists for the 2015 Jim Thorpe Award, an honor given annually to the top defensive back in college football by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. The Duke captian has recorded an amazing 14 tackles for loss this year whil eplaying a number of postions from outside linebacker to safety. For his efforts he's been named to six mid-season All-American teams.
2. Devon Edwards, SOPHOMORE, SAFETY
Last Week: 2
Edwards remains a dual threat player who contribtues in both the defensive secondary and return game. Against Virginia Tech he was terrific on defense, recording 15 tackles. It was the 11th time Edwards has recorded 10+ stops in a game. Over the last calendar year Edwards has averaged just shy of 10 tackles per game.
3. Thomas Sirk, JUNIOR, QUARTERBACK
Last Week: 4
Sirk has gotten comfortable under center as the team's starting quarterback and the results have been a Blue Devil offense that is taking shots down field more often while also valuing the football and not turning it over. Sirk ranks first in the ACC in total offensive yards per game with 280.0. Sirk’s average also stands 27th in the country. He is one of five Power 5 quarterbacks who leads his team in both rushing and passing yards this season.
4. Dwayne Norman, SENIOR, LINEBACKER
Norman leads the team with 60 tackles and ranks second on the team with 6.5 tackles for loss. In the last five games Norman has recorded 10 or more stops three times. The converted safety recorded nine tackles and two pass breakups against Virginia Tech last week and ranks second in the ACC with 8.6 tackles per game..
5. Max McCaffrey, SENIOR, WIDE RECEIVER
McCaffrey has been Duke's steadiest and, arguably, toughest receiver this year. He hauled in two touchdown passes in traffic last week against the Hokies and absorbed a number of hits in doing so. He now leads the team in touchdown receptions and is the 11th player in Duke history to register three seasons with at least three TD receptions. While he's not the team's deep threat, he has been Duke's best and most steady option in the passing game.
6. A.J. Wolf, JUNIOR, DEFENSIVE LINEMAN
Last Week: 6
This position is really more of a cumulative placement than an individual acknowledgment. Wolf, Carlos Wray, and Mike Ramsay all had very good games against Virginia Tech and kept Duke competitive along the line of scrimmage. Wolf has totaled more tackles through seven games this season (31 tackles) than he did in all of 2014, when he played 13 games (23 tackles).
7. Ross Martin, SENIOR, KICKER
Last Week: 5
Martin had an up and down game in Blacksburg, missing two field goals (his only two misses of the season), but also calmly converting his chances in overtime to keep Duke in the game. He's 15-of-17 on the season on field goal attempts and 23-of-23 on extra points. He is 11-of-12 from 30 or more yards.
8. Will Monday, SENIOR, PUNTER
Lask Week: 8
Monday has punted 39 times this season with 19 being downed inside the 20-yard line. It's allowed the defense to dial up a lot of pressure thanks to good field position.
9. Shaquille Powell, SENIOR, RUNNING BACK
Powell's doing a lot of little things that help a team win. On the game winning play against Virginia Tech there was, perhaps the best example of this when the senior blew up his initial block and then got up and pushed Sirk over the goal line for the win. He's got a lot of help in the "Stable" with guys like Shaun Wilson and Jela Duncan behind him, but for our money Powell has been the steadiest presence in the backfield.
10. Tinashe Bere, FRESHMAN, LINEBACKER
Last Week: 10
Bere seems to have won the starting middle linebacker job and has started the last four games. Bere got the start against those teams because of the run-heavy attacks, and will split more time with former starter Zavier Carmichael going forward as the opposition begins passing a bit more, but during those games the freshman has been very good.