Connette to transfer closer to home
Posted April 10, 2014
Durham, N.C. — Duke quarterback Brandon Connette, who holds Blue Devils records for rushing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, will play his final season of eligibility closer to home, head coach David Cutcliffe announced on Thursday.
Nancy Connette, Brandon’s mother, was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and underwent brain surgery prior to the team's Chic-fil-A Bowl in December. Duke has fulfilled Connette’s requests to provide permission to schools closer to his home of Corona, Calif., to contact him regarding future athletic and academic opportunities.
“First and foremost, our prayers and concerns are with Nancy Connette and her quest for good health,” Cutcliffe said. “We thank Brandon for his many contributions to Duke University and our football program. We want nothing but the best for Brandon – both on the football field and off – and his personal situation is very close to our hearts. He’s been an integral part of our program over the past four years, and we wish him continued success going forward.”
Connette enrolled at Duke in January of 2010, graduated with a degree in economics in December of 2013 and is currently working toward a master’s degree in Christian studies. Per NCAA regulations, student-athletes who have graduated can be immediately eligible at a second institution based on established criteria, which Connette is on track to fulfill.
“I could not be more appreciative of Coach Cutcliffe for his understanding of this situation,” Connette said. “Being away from my family during my mother’s illness has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to endure. I’m thankful that Duke University afforded me so many incredible opportunities – academically, athletically and socially – and will always hold my experience here in the highest regard.”
In 39 career games as a Blue Devil, Connette completed 106-of-182 (.582) passes for 1,410 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions while rushing 228 times for 735 yards and a school record 31 touchdowns. He led Duke in rushing touchdowns in 2010, 2012 and 2013 and is one of just three quarterbacks in ACC history to rush for 30-plus scores in a career, joining the Georgia Tech tandem of Tevin Washington (38) and Joshua Nesbitt (35).
Connette is the only player in Duke history to rush for eight-plus touchdowns in three seasons.
In 2013, Connette matched the school single-season record for rushing touchdowns, equaling the standard set by Winston Siegfried in 1941 while his 84 total points rank as the fifth-highest single-season total in school history.
Following the 2013 season, Connette was presented with the Micah Harris Trinity Teammate Award, an honor presented annually to the member of the Duke program that displays the traits of a true teammate: character, unselfishness, compassion and pride.