Connette to transfer closer to home

Posted April 10, 2014

Brandon Connette (18) with the ball. The Miami Hurricanes face Duke at Wallace-Wade Stadium for a showdown of the 7-2 ACC teams. Photo by CHRIS BAIRD

— 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.


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  • 45HEELSFAN45 Apr 10, 2014

    Good luck to the young man and his future endeavors.

  • knbrown13 Apr 10, 2014

    As a fan I'm sad to see him go, but completely understand his need for transferring. I wish him the best of luck as well as his family and mother in her fight against cancer!

  • lec02572 Apr 10, 2014

    Prayers for Nancy Connette and this young man. There are things that are more important han a game.

  • Whistling Dixie Apr 10, 2014

    Connette was presented with the Micah Harris Trinity Teammate Award.


  • Objective Scientist Apr 10, 2014

    Although some may, I cannot imagine anyone having a problem with Connette's decision to do this... and it is his decision and that of his famly to make, and no one else. Wish him and his family all the best!

  • 903 Free Paul Frampton 2 Apr 10, 2014

    I am so proud of the way Duke and Coach Cut handled this situation. Connette was the model team player and true student athlete that exemplifies everything that Duke stands for and we are lucky we had him for the four years we did. Whichever program he chooses to finish up his career at is a lucky program and I will be pulling for them every Saturday this fall...

  • KT lols at internet tough girls Apr 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    What a classless act you are.

    Best wishes to Connette and his mother.

  • 903 ways to fail Apr 10, 2014

    Good luck to the kid.

  • vt94hokies Apr 10, 2014

    Connette is what we want to see in a student athlete. He's proven this in the classroom at a top notch University where they have Professors teaching, and students earning their grades. With his mom's situation, he made the right decision. He will make some team proud. I wish him the very best, as I do his mom.

  • mike honcho Apr 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    + 1




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