Depth Chart Notables: Week 8

Reviewing the injuries and practice performances that have shaken up the depth chart this week

Injury Report: The running game suffers a setback as senior running back Re'quan Boyette misses the game. Same with the linebacking corps as starter Abraham Kromah's leg injury will once again keep him out of action. In Boyette's place in the starting lineup will be either sophomore Jay Hollingsworth or true freshman Desmond Scott. Meanwhile Adam Banks will take over - again - for Kromah.

Gone from the "OUT" list is cornerback Randez James who had been off the depth chart for the first seven weeks with a head injury.

Depth Chart Shakeups:

  • Redshirt freshman Patrick Kurunwune will likely be the backup regardless of Scott or Hollingsworth getting the starting nod.
  • Freshman Conner Vernon remains listed as a starting wide receiver, this time over sophomore Johnny Williams. The other listed starting wideouts are junior Austin Kelly and sophomore Donovan Varner. Only Kelly stands taller than six feet, which re-emphasizes Duke's desire to go with speedy slot types over the taller players. In fact, the only player on the 2-deep for receiver besides Kelly who is taller than six feet is Sheldon Bell (6'5). The other backups - Williams, and Josh Trezvant continue the slot receiver style.
  • Jarrod Holt returns to the starting lineup at right tackle while fill-in Jon Needham will be the backup on the right outside. Brian Moore and Bryan Morgan retain their spots on the interior while the ever raging battle at left guard has been won this week by Mitch Lederman over backup turned starter turned backup Brandon Harper. Left tackle duties remain in the hands of Kyle Hill with Conner Irwin making his first appearance in several weeks on the two deep as the primary left tackle backup.
  • The defensive line remains consistent with Patrick Egboh and Ayanga Okpokowuruk on the outside and Charlie Hatcher and Vince Oghobaase on the interior. The top backups on the outside are Wesley Oglesby and Eriks Reks, while Kinney Rucker and John Drew man the backup roles inside.
  • With the loss of Kromah, Banks will continue to man one outside linebacker spot (despite a probable move to his more natural defensive end position next season) with Damian Thornton on the other side. Interesting is the entire second team linebacking corps is occupied by the true freshman class. Tyree Glover is the top outside reserve while Austin Gamble is the top middle linebacker reserve.
  • The secondary remains consistent with the only question mark being at right cornerback between Lee Butler and Chris Rwabukamba
  • The idea of running backs returning kicks appear to have been abandoned as Conner Vernon and Johnny Williams are the two kick returners while Williams, Leon Wright, and Walt Canty will handle the punt return duties.

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