April 21, 2003
Spring 2003 OverviewThe PooP
The following numbers must be put to rest immediately: 3-8, 0-11, 0-11, 2-10. Those are Duke's records so far under Carl Franks, who enters his fifth season as the Blue Devils' leader this fall. AD Joe Alleva gave Franks an extension after the 2002 season, but nobody should expect the coach to be around long enough to enjoy it unless his team shows significant improvement in 2003. Nothing will be easy, but the Devils have a handful of stars, more returning starters than anyone in the ACC and a very reasonable (seven home games, including Western Carolina, Rice and Northwestern) schedule. Now is the time.
Probable 2003 Starters
* returning starter
+ injured/missed spring drills
Coming On Strong
The defensive front, which led Duke's rise from ninth (2001) to first (2002) in ACC rushing statistics, returns five of its top seven players. The offensive line, long a trouble spot in Durham, finally could be effective, with five seasoned veterans coming back intact. Rock-solid returning starters: LB Brendan Dewan, RB Chris Douglas, LB Ryan Fowler, WR Senterrio Landrum, FS Terrell Smith, OL Drew Strojny, DT Matt Zielinski. Also looking good: DE Phillip Alexander, RB Cedric Dargan, WR Ronnie Elliott, WR Lance Johnson, WR Reggie Love, FB Alex Wade, LB DeAndre White.
Cause For Concern?
The Blue Devils finally have a nice group of solid, experienced players, but they still lack firepower in many ways. The quarterback and cornerback positions, in particular, haven't been up to ACC standards. More importantly, All-ACC DE Shawn Johnson decided to transfer and cited a losing atmosphere on his way out the door; that development continued an alarming trend in Durham. Also: As usual, quality depth remains a serious problem at almost every position.
On The Sidelines
The following players missed all or most of spring drills: LB J.T. Cape (shoulder), DB Brian Greene, DB Deonto McCormick, DT Demetrius Warrick (knee). WR Ben Kittleson (track) and WR Senterrio Landrum (baseball) split time between football and other sports.
The following scholarship athletes left the program in the past 12-18 months with eligibility remaining: DE Cory Broadnax (medical), QB D. Bryant (transfer/before 2002 season), TE Nick Brzezinski (chose to graduate), OL Kurt Falke, DE Shawn Johnson (transfer), LB Kurt Miller (chose to graduate), RB Jamin Pastore (medical), LB Paul Pugsley (medical), DB Anthony Roberts (chose to graduate).