Despite Thomas Sirk’s erstwhile recovery efforts from his third torn Achilles this spring, Daniel Jones is firmly entrenched as Duke’s starting quarterback.
Monday’s news that Sirk is transferring from Duke to play his final season elsewhere only further cements the fact that this is Jones’ team for the foreseeable future.
The 6-4 Sirk leaves Duke having set two school records and led the Blue Devils to their first bowl win since 1961.
He did so playing only two healthy seasons because he suffered torn Achilles tendons on both legs — the right one in 2013 and the left one twice last year.
When Sirk was unable to play last season, Jones became Duke’s starting quarterback despite having never played a snap of college football.
As a redshirt freshman, he struggled early with eight interceptions over his first five games. But after throwing five in an ugly 34-20 loss to Virginia on Oct. 1, Jones threw just one over his final seven games.
Duke went 4-8 overall and 1-7 in the league. But Jones showed his talent and potential by completing 62.8 percent of his passes for 2,836 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
When spring practice started on Feb. 3, Duke coach David Cutcliffe said Jones was Duke’s starter and the only focus for Sirk was to get healthy.
While he’s in the process of doing that while not participating in contact drills, Sirk decided to use his sixth season of eligibility elsewhere.
That leaves Jones as Duke’s starting quarterback with redshirt senior Parker Boehme as his backup. Duke has freshman Chris Katrenick on campus for spring practice as an early enrollee, but the plan is for him to redshirt this season.
Duke also has redshirt sophomore Quentin Harris on the depth chart behind Boehme.