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QB Dukes says he'll transfer to Duke

Curt Dukes, the quarterback who last week announced his plans to leave the Nebraska football team, confirmed Wednesday he's transferring to Duke.

It's a return home for Dukes, a native of Stony Point, N.C., who'd originally considered Duke, along with in-state schools North Carolina and North Carolina State, out of high school.

Dukes chose Nebraska instead, but after redshirting his first year with the Huskers, said he didn't feel comfortable at the school, and was granted his scholarship release.

"I know I'm taking a chance," Dukes told the Journal-Star last week, "(but)Ijust want an atmosphere and surrounding where I feel comfortable."

Dukes declined comment on his reasons for selecting the Blue Devils. Duke coaches can't comment on Dukes until he's officially enrolled.

Dukes won't be eligible to play this coming fall. Under NCAA transfer rules, he must sit out this season, then will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Dukes joins four other scholarship quarterbacks on the Blue Devils' roster, including three who will be juniors this fall -- Adam Smith, Chris Dapolito and Chris Wispelwey. They'll be seniors when Dukes joins the quarterback fray in 2004.

Smith started all 12 games in 2002 and became just the third Duke sophomore to pass for more than 2,000 yards.

Freshman quarterback Mike Schneider redshirted last season.

Duke was 2-10 last season, including 0-8 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Reach Brian Rosenthal at 473-7436 or brosenthal@journalstar.com.


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Press Box Perspective
Pressbox Perspective

Someone recently sent me an e-mail asking if Frank Solich still had anything to keep him busy now that he's given up the title of offensive coordinator.

Solich still has plenty on his plate. For starters, he sorts out messes involving offensive linemen in hot water with the law.

Junior Tagoa'i is a good football player -- he's No. 1 on the post-spring depth chart at right guard -- but he is not going to win any citizenship awards off the field.

Tagoa'i allegedly roughed up his girlfriend while she was holding their 1-year-old daughter. He faces misdemeanor assault and child-neglect charges.

Solich did the right thing by suspending Tagoa'i indefinitely. But when the matter is sorted out in court, Solich will have a lot more to think about.

This isn't the first time Tagoa'i has been in court for this kind of thing.

How much does Solich want to risk the already fragile image of the football program? The ghost of Lawrence Phillips is everywhere.

The offensive line is not NU's strongest position, but let's hope that doesn't enter into Solich's thinking when it comes to making a final decision about Tagoa'i's future as a Husker.

-- John Mabry