Highly-Coveted Transfer Named X-Factor for Duke Heading Into 2024 Season

Duke Blue Devils QB Maalik Murphy could be a difference-maker this season in the ACC.
Kansas State v Texas
Kansas State v Texas / Tim Warner/GettyImages

The Duke Blue Devils had several changes in the offseason, including finding a new head coach and quarterback. The Blue Devils saw head coach Mike Elko leave in November last season to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.

Duke went with another defensive-minded coach to replace Elko, hiring Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. As for the quarterback spot, Riley Leonard left the program and ended up at Notre Dame, where he will be the starter for the Fighting Irish.

With Riley out of the picture and no great options behind him, the Blue Devils needed to make a splash in the transfer portal to give themselves a chance in the ACC this season. Duke went out and landed former Texas Longhorns Maalik Murphy.

Duke Transfer QB Maalik Murphy Drawing Early Praise

The 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman was one of the best QBs in the portal this offseason after playing well in the absence of an injured Quinn Ewers last season. In two starts last season, the young quarterback threw for 418 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions.

The Inglewood, CA native isn’t a threat with his legs but has a big arm, which could put the Blue Devils’ offense in a great position to succeed. Ari Wasserman of The Athletic believes the former Texas signal-caller is an x-factor for the Blue Devils and the ACC.

"“It’s unavoidable not to go with the obvious selection here — it’s quarterback Maalik Murphy. The Texas transfer is a 6-foot-5, 240-pound freak of nature with untapped potential. After serving as a backup for two seasons with the Longhorns, Murphy has the opportunity to run his own team. It should be fun to watch.”"

Ari Wasserman

The Blue Devils have an easy non-conference schedule to start the 2024 season as they will play Elon (FCS), Northwestern, UConn, and Middle Tennessee State. 

If Murphy and Duke’s offense can find its footing and get off to a 3-1 or 4-0 start, it will go a long way for the Blue Devils before they open up conference play against North Carolina on Sept. 28.

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