The Duke Blue Devils‘ passing attack will be undergoing a bit a change this season. Gone is all-time leading passer Sean Renfree and all-time leading receiver Conner Vernon who are both trying to make it in the National Football League. In Renfree’s place is junior Anthony Boone. Boone will have a receiving corps led by Jamison Crowder but the x-factor could be junior Issac Blakeney, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound converted tight end who is listed as a starting wide receiver but should see most of his reps in the slot.
Blakeney doesn’t possess blazing speed, although for a tight end his 4.58 40-yard dash time is respectable but as a wide receiver it is somewhat pedestrian. However, given his size and ability to catch the ball in traffic, Blakeney should be able to excel as a slot receiver in Duke’s revamped passing game.
In thirteen career games, Blakeney has 32 catches for 290 yards and one touchdown. Those numbers should be easily eclipsed this year as Duke should still feature a strong passing game which will be bolstered by a much improved running game. Blakeney won’t replace Vernon but he could become a trusted target of Boone’s as Boone gets comfortable leading the offense.
Blakeney’s size and his ability to catch the ball in traffic should endear him to Boone which could lead to plenty of targets. There is no doubt Crowder is the number one receiver on this team and will see plenty of balls thrown his way but Blakeney could very easily have himself a great season and might become a favorite target of Boone’s, especially in the red zone.
Chris is a Senior Writer as well as the Hiring and Recruiting Manager for Rant sports. He is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow Chris on Twitter and “Like” his page on Facebook.