Whether it was necessary or not, there is, or soon will be, even more clarity at the quarterback position for David Cutcliffe and his Duke coaching staff.
According to both the Charlotte Observer and Durham Herald-Sun, Brandon Connette is exploring a transfer from Duke in order to be closer to his ailing mother in California. The Herald-Sun wrote that “Connette’s mother, Nancy, was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer last December. While in surgery to remove the tumor, she suffered a stroke that impaired her memory and motor skills.”
The Observer reports that the cancer is malignant, although the mom felt well enough to attend the Blue Devils’ spring game in early March. In early December, Connette was granted a leave of absence from the team to be with his family, returning a week before the Blue Devils’ bowl game against Texas A&M. Following that game, Connette was rumored to have considered a transfer then before deciding to remain with the team through the whole of spring practice.
A decision on whether to transfer to a school in California could be made as early as Thursday, the Herald-Sun reported. As Connette would be a graduate transfer, he’d be eligible to play immediately in 2014 at an FBS program.
In 2013, Connette played in all 14 games for the Blue Devils in their stunning run to 10 wins. When starter Anthony Boone went down with a collarbone injury, Connette replaced him; Duke went 1-2 with Boone out of the starting lineup. After Boone returned, the two players spent a large portion of the remainder of the season in a quasi-platoon system.
Boone was the primary weapon in the passing game, while Connette led the Blue Devils in rushing touchdowns with 14. Connette, though, did his share of damage through the air, matching Boone with 13 touchdown passes.
A three-star member of Duke’s 2010 recruiting class, one of the offers Connette coming out of high school in Corona, Calif., was Stanford. Whether the Cardinal would be an option four years later is unclear.