Duke starting safety Jeremy McDuffie’s season is over after he suffered torn knee ligaments during last Saturday’s 43-20 win over Georgia Tech.
McDuffie, a junior, will have surgery to repair his right knee on Monday and faces a recovery schedule that could put his 2018 season in jeopardy. Since he played as a true freshman in 2015, McDuffie has a redshirt year available if he’s not healed in time for next season.
McDuffie has started all 11 games for Duke (5-6, 2-5 in ACC) this season. He’s fourth on the team in tackles (58). He’s intercepted three passes, returning one for a touchdown.
This is the second major knee injury McDuffie has suffered in his football career. In 2014, eight games into his senior season at Shiloh High School in Snellville, Georgia, McDuffie tore the ACL in his left knee while returning a kickoff.
Ten months later, although still wearing a brace and admittedly not 100 percent healthy, he went through preseason practices at Duke as a freshman. He played in 13 games that year, including in Duke’s Pinstripe Bowl win over Indiana.
A state champion in multiple events as a track and field athlete in high school, McDuffie excelled in track at Duke last spring, earning second-team, all-ACC honors in the triple jump and 110 hurdles. He was also part of a 400 relay team that recorded the fourth-best time in school history (41.41 seconds) and placed seventh at the ACC championship meet.
His injury will prevent him from running track and participating in Duke’s spring football practices in 2018.
The Blue Devils play Wake Forest in Saturday’s regular-season finale at Winston-Salem. A win would give Duke bowl eligibility for the fifth time in six seasons.