Kelby Brown: ACL Tear Ends Duke Football Career


Kelby Brown cannot seem to miss the bad luck. A day before he named to the Bednarik Award preseason watch list, Brown tore his ACL in his left knee again. This is Brown’s fourth tearing of an ACL. He has torn the one is in right knee twice and the one in his left knee twice now. This will mark the end of football career at Duke. Brown will remain on campus as a graduate student in Christian studies and an assistant coach.

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Last year Brown was also a candidate on preseason watch lists but he tore an ACL and missed the season. The silver lining of that was Brown gaining a waiver for a sixth year of eligibility. With several seniors departing Duke’s defense, the return of Brown offered some star power. That is gone now. The other seniors of Duke’s defense will have to lead now. There is a lot of them on the current defense.

Two years ago Brown was an All-ACC linebacker on the Duke team that won the Coastal Division and faced Texas A&M in the Peach Bowl.

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Duke uses a 4-2-5 defense. That puts a fair amount of pressure on the two linebackers. So that role now falls to senior Dwayne Norman and sophomores Zavier Carmichael and Chris Holmes. They will rely on more support from strong safety Jeremy Cash to come up on run support.

The key attack against a four-two-five defense is to use the lack of a third linebacker to run the ball. Tackling becomes crucial at the middle position and Duke will miss Brown’s tackling.

Coach David Cutcliffe gave a nice tribute to Brown the player, talking about how they would miss a player of his character. Duke will be looking to reclaim the Coastal Division without Brown. They will also be trying to do it with new quarterback Thomas Sirk.

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