Duke Blue Devils quarterback Riley Leonard

5 Riley Leonard replacements as Duke Blue Devils QB enters transfer portal

Riley Leonard is about to enter the transfer portal, bringing his tenure with the Duke Blue Devils to an end after three seasons. Chris Hummer of 247 Sports shared the news, tweeting:

"Duke QB Riley Leonard has entered the transfer portal, @mzenitz and I have learned for @247Sports. Important to note: Leonard entered the portal with a "do not contact" tag on his entry, per a source. Usually indicates a person has a good idea of where they could go already."
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After serving as the Blue Devils' backup quarterback as a freshman, Leonard has been starting under center for the past two years. In 27 games during his Duke career, 21 of which have been starts, he completed 61.7% of his pass attempts for 4,450 yards, 24 touchdowns and ten interceptions. He also added 1,224 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns on 229 carries.

Take a look at five options to replace the three-star quarterback prospect in the 2021 recruiting class below.

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5 players that could replace Riley Leonard as Duke Blue Devils quarterback

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#1: Grayson McCall

Grayson McCall has spent the past five seasons as a member of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, where he is among the all-time leaders in several categories. He is a three-time Sun Belt Player of the Year and has been named to the first-team All-Sun Belt four times.

In 42 career games, 40 of which were starts, McCall has completed 69.9% of his passes, throwing for 10,005 yards, 88 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He has added 1,113 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on 250 carries.

The former two-star prospect in the 2019 recruiting class may be attainable for the Duke Blue Devils as he will probably look to join a Power Five program.

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#2: Will Rogers

Will Rogers may be less attainable for the Duke Blue Devils as the former three-star prospect in the 2020 recruiting class has spent his entire four-year career playing in the SEC for the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

While his final season with the program was filled with injuries and inconsistencies, Rogers ranks among the SEC's all-time leaders in several categories.

In 43 career games, 40 of which were starts, he has completed 69.3% of his passes for 12,315 yards, 94 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.


#3: KJ Jefferson

KJ Jefferson is another SEC quarterback who could be a target for the Duke Blue Devils. The former four-star prospect has spent five seasons with the Arkansas Razorbacks, starting the past three.

In 45 games, 39 of which he were starts, he completed 65.1% of his pass attempts for 7,923 yards, 67 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He added 1,876 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on 523 carries.


#4: Will Howard

Will Howard has spent four seasons as a member of the Kansas State Wildcats after joining the program as a three-star prospect in the 2020 recruiting class. He has appeared in 34 games, making 27 starts.

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Howard has completed 58.8% of his passes, throwing for 5,786 yards, 48 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. He has also added 921 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on 226 carries.


#5: Henry Belin IV and Grayson Loftis

The Duke Blue Devils could opt to run with some combination of their two internal options, Henry Belin IV and Grayson Loftis. The two players joined the program as three-star prospects in the 2022 and 2023 recruiting classes, respectively.

Belin IV has completed 56.3% of his passes for 275 yards, three touchdowns and one interception while adding 12 rushing yards and one touchdown on 11 carries.

Loftis has completed 53.7% of his passes for 823 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions while adding 24 rushing yards and one touchdown on 18 carries.

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Edited by
Kanav Seth
 
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