Sep 22, 2012; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils quarterback Brandon Connette (18) runs the ball in for a touchdown past Memphis Tigers defensive back Lonnie Ballentine (4) during the first half at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

Duke QB Brandon Connette to transfer to be near cancer-stricken mother


Duke Blue Devils quarterback Brandon Connette is transferring in order to be closer to his cancer-stricken mother Nancy in California after she was diagnosed in 2013 and will be eligible to play immediately after graduating with his economics degree last semester.

Connette appeared in 13 games, making three starts, for the Blue Devils who won the Coastal Division in the ACC with a 10-4 record.

He split time at quarterback with Anthony Boone and tied for the team lead with 13 passing touchdowns and led the team with 14 rushing touchdowns, including a career-high four in the team’s 48-30 win against the Miami Hurricanes.

“I could not be more appreciative of Coach Cutcliffe for his understanding of this situation,” Connette said in a statement. “Being away from my family during my mother’s illness has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to endure. I’m thankful that Duke University afforded me so many incredible opportunities — academically, athletically and socially — and will always hold my experience here in the highest regard.”

Connette is the school’s all-time rushing touchdown leader with 31 and his 27 combined scores in 2013 established a new school-record for the surprising Blue Devils who lost to Florida State in the ACC Championship Game.

No word on where Connette is considering transferring, but he did have an offer from Stanford coming out of high school, but it’s unclear if that would be an option at this point.

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