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Friend of the devil, maybe not. As Riley Leonard, the quarterback, has entered the transfer portal. Connor O'Neill.
Deacon's Illustrated, Devil's Illustrated. If there was another D, it would be Illustrated. But we we have him with us as Connor O'Neill joins us on the Adam Gold Show. Did it come as a surprise to you? Maybe as quickly as it as Mike Elko announced that he was leaving, that Riley entered the portal? Or did we kind of think that maybe this would happen anyway?
No, I'm a hundred percent in the camp of this was probably going to happen anyway. Look, Duke had three quarterbacks start and win games this year and one of them was generating NFL buzz before the season and this world that we live in, in college sports now, that kind of makes him option A to get lured away by some seven-figure NFL steal and you know, that's that's just kind of the reality of the situation, I think. Do you think Mike Elko knew that going into this season and went, you know, if I have an opportunity, because Riley's gone, that I might just go ahead of him? Yeah, it was definitely on his radar. I don't know that it was a major factor in his decision. You know, maybe if Mike goes somewhere else that doesn't have a ready-made quarterback for him like Connor Wiegmann, he's he's then trying to get Riley to come with him.
And that that relationship, I mean, I talked to both those guys throughout the last 18 months about how much they had gotten to know each other and gotten to respect each other and how highly they thought of each other. So, you know, I think if Mike had gone into another situation, you could be looking at Riley Leonard playing for somebody else, but still playing for Mike Elko. Connor O'Neill, Devils Illustrated, Deacons Illustrated, everything Illustrated is joining us on the Adam Gold Show. The rumor is that Notre Dame is highly interested and ESPN.com, by the way, has a list of them. They rank the quarterbacks available in the portal. Leonard is on top of that list. That's before the announcement of MJ Morris. Not that he would go ahead of Leonard, but it's also before the announcement. A DJ Uwe Aungulale is entering the portal because his head coach has left Oregon State and is now the head guy at Michigan State.
So maybe DJ use ahead of him as well. But what are your thoughts on a destination for Riley? Would he fit at Notre Dame? Yeah, Notre Dame is really going to be dangerous when they develop some of the wide receiver talent that they're able to recruit to and then pair it with whatever quarterback from the ACC they choose is going to be their rental for that season.
No, I get it with I get it with Notre Dame. I don't think Riley's skill set is as much of a fit as Sam Hartman's was. You know, Sam was always a passer first and then a runner when he was at Wake Forest. And that, to me, made it make a little more sense to have somebody like that go into a pro style offense where, you know, 30 to 40 percent of the snaps are simply handing the ball to a running back and getting the hell out of the way.
Riley is is a lot more of a dual threat. You know, how many times did we talk about over the last however many months, how dangerous he was as a runner and how it's Duke's offense? I mean, Duke's offense, when it was clicking there in September, they were a power run team. They weren't a team that had a, you know, projected first round quarterback that was throwing for 300 and 400 yards a game.
I mean, he was throwing for like 130 and 150 and Duke was running the ball for 250 yards and controlling the game. So I don't know how Notre Dame will kind of tailor their offense if that's where he goes. I mean, you're talking about it kind of like it's a done deal.
And in my mind, it kind of is a done deal with with what I've heard and the people that have reached out to me about it. I still think Auburn stands a little bit of a chance. He's from Alabama and I believe his girlfriend goes to Alabama or not. Not all that goes to all right. So, you know, maybe Auburn gets him, but I really do think it's Notre Dame.
So you start thinking about how the how the fit works. And it doesn't make as much sense to me as last year did with Sam. Connor O'Neill joining us here, Devils Illustrated. I guess it's just Devils Illustrated today, although Mitch Griffiths is also in the transfer portal and made the top 10 of ESPN's available transfer portal quarterbacks list. The how much of Leonard and his decision to do this also stems from the fact that Duke doesn't have NFL caliber receiving targets, either a tight end or wide receiver. Jalen Calhoun is not an NFL player.
I don't think Jordan Moore is not necessarily an NFL player, at least in my mind. I don't see those two guys as NFL type targets and how it was going to be more difficult to post the, you know, have the kind of season that would wow scouts without stuff like that. Yeah, I think that's kind of one of the things that Riley's injury in October and the status of where Duke was really took away focus from their receiver core was kind of underwhelming for what we thought it was going to be this year. And I was writing in the summer that how Wake Forest and Duke had two of the deepest receiving pores in, in the ACC, uh, outside of Florida state.
And I guess I went one for three there cause Florida state was really good, but Wake and Duke really fell off. I mean, Wake was because of an injury. Um, Duke also lost a guy, Eli Tankle. Maybe it looks a little better with him out there on the outside, but yeah, I mean, Jalen Calhoun is going to get a shot in the NFL.
Uh, Jordan Moore, I think there's going to get a shot to keep developing and then go to the NFL. He's a good enough athlete and he really came on strong at the end of the year, but you're right. I mean, the, that group was, was not what it could have been this year. And that was kind of disappointing. And we just, we didn't really talk about it much because, uh, we had to talk about Riley's injury, his status, winning a game against NC state with a backup quarterback and how good Duke's defense was for the first two months.
And then how it fell off over the, over the last few games. So yeah, it's, uh, I get it. Um, I get wanting the, wanting to leave Duke and better your receiver situation. Then I also look at, I look at what Notre Dame had at receivers here. I think their leading receiver, Chris Tyree has already entered the portal this week. And it's like, are you really bettering yourself?
Yes. You're, you're getting some better recruiting rankings, but those really haven't met much. And in Notre Dame's offense lately. Well, you, you, you're certainly going to end up with a tight end.
You can throw too, because Notre Dame will probably always have, uh, an NFL caliber tight end. Um, one more thing about Duke and the portal. What is your sense of how many players will follow Riley Leonard? Not that they're doing it because of Riley Leonard and also head to the portal and look elsewhere. Yeah.
I mean, right now it's, it's kind of all stabilized. Um, the two that Duke has lost so far, uh, with Aneas Peebles going in on Monday, I believe it was. I mean, those are two huge losses, like those two, if everything, if everything is Stan's hat and your roster comes back next year, those are two of your four or five best players. I think it was a third team, all ACC player, right? Right. And he didn't start a game or maybe only had one or two stars. Like he was a rotation guy behind, uh, Dwayne Carter and Jamie on Franklin.
Yep. Um, but right now I think there's a lot of credit that goes to Duke staff that has kind of held the ship together. And I think it's a big rallying point to say, Hey, we, you know, we don't have our coach anymore, but we still have to finish this thing out the right way and play in a bowl game together. I'm sure there's some apprehension and people want to see, uh, who the new coach is going to be.
And it's not like that announcement is coming, you know, in, in an hour. So there's, there's some keeping the ship pointed in the right direction, even if the captain is a different face, uh, going forward and yeah, it's just, uh, it's kind of a weird time to, to be thinking about, okay, well, uh, Duke has Duke is without a coach right now. They have interim coach, trooper Taylor, and they've only lost three kids with a transfer portal.
I mean, I guess, I guess that's a good way of looking at it, um, real, real quick. Cause you also do, uh, the demon Deacons, uh, what's their quarterback situation look like for next year? It's going to be Michael Kern and competition. Um, Michael current is going to be in his sixth year and he really only got a chance to start for the last two weeks of the year. And he played well at Syracuse. Uh, I don't think anybody's really going to crush him for not playing well at Notre Dame.
Your first career start, uh, in that situation, I think some, some, uh, you know, exceptions can be made. Um, they're going to bring in a, uh, a portal quarterback. I mean, they kind of have to, um, you don't want to go into next season with it being Michael Kern or, uh, a freshman who was on the roster this year. I wasn't, she was traveling for games and Charlie Gilliam, and then they're bringing in a freshman in January, Jeremy Heclinsky, who had a great high school, uh, season down in Georgia. So they're really high on Jeremy Heclinsky.
It's going to be a competition, which is, I keep repeating that. Um, because I think it's the most important part because you, it kind of was mind boggling that Mitch Griffith never really had to compete for the starting role. He just kind of won the backup role in spring a year and a half ago. And then when Sam went down with the medical condition, it was Mitch Griffith as our starter. It wasn't, we're going to have Mitch and Michael Kern compete for the job. So that's something that I think Dave Lawson is, he's already told us it's going to be a, it's going to be open competition in the spring. And right now I would, I would paint the competitors in that as Michael Kern, uh, Jeremy Heclinsky, Charlie Gilliam, and, you know, portal QB to be named later.
And Connor O'Neill, uh, will be competing for, uh, for the wake forest, uh, quarterback job. Uh, Connor, I appreciate your time at Connor O'Neill underscore D I on Twitter. Thanks, man. Appreciate your time next time. We'll talk hoops. Thanks, Adam. Appreciate it. You got it.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-30 17:34:36 / 2023-11-30 17:39:54 / 5