“Eight Players Named to Athlon Sports’ Pre-Season All-ACC Team for 2023”

On May 26, 2023, Athlon Sports announced that eight Duke University football players have been named to the 2023 Preseason All-ACC Team. Among the first team selections were offensive lineman Graham Burton, defensive lineman Dwayne Carter, and kickoff return specialist Jalen Stinson. Wide receiver Jaron Calhoun and safety Brandon Johnson made it to the second team, followed by center Jacob Monk, safety Stinson, and punter Porter Wilson on the third team. Quarterback Riley Leonard completed the Blue Devils winners’ list with a fourth team nomination.

Burton, who made the 2022 First Team All-ACC, was responsible for blocking Duke’s offense that gained 2,394 rushing yards and 3,010 passing yards in the last season. Burton comes from Brentwood, Tennessee, and has played 31 career offensive games where he started 30 of them. Last year, Burton played a pivotal role in Duke’s record of scoring 31 rushing touchdowns in a single season and a first position ranking in sacks allowed and tackles lost in the ACC. Burton also secured a Pro Football Focus grade of 88.2, placing fifth nationally among offensive tackles.

Stinson, who hails from Opelika, Alabama, made third place in the ACC with 15 kick returns and tied for the second position with 380 kick return yards. Throughout his career with the Blue Devils, Stinson has 66 returns for 1,553 yards and two touchdowns. Safety Johnson recorded 130 tackles, 2.5 lost tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 6 pass breakups, 1 fumble induced, 2 fumble recoveries, and 1 quarterback rush. Last season, he added a 1.5 tackle loss and two interceptions to his record and finished third for the team with 74 tackles.

Calhoun, a 2022 All-ACC Third Team selection, led the team with 62 passes for 873 yards and four touchdowns. Calhoun completed 37 first downs among his 62 receptions and covered 20 yards or more in 20 of them. The Greenville, South Carolina native currently ranks ninth in Duke’s history for 2,360 yards and will be the 11th player in the program history to surpass 2,000 career receiving yards. Johnson tied for first on the team in sacks, pass breakups, and interceptions in 2022.

Monk, who received honorable mention by being named to the All-ACC, was a fifth-year starter on the offensive line, playing 46 career games with 3,051 snaps. Wilson, who was also a 2022 All-ACC honorable mention winner, had 46 punts for the year accounting for 1,984 yards and averaging 43.13 yards per punt. Leonard, from Fairhope, Alabama, was an All-ACC Honorable Mention and Military Bowl MVP in his first season as a starter at Duke, where he set the school’s single-season record for touchdowns and pass-to-interception ratio.

Duke is set to open the 2023 season against Clemson at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium on Monday, September 4, and season tickets are currently available at GoDuke.com/footballtix.

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