Friday, September 28, 2012
Who will transform tomorrow?
By Heather Dinich
My player to watch in Week 5 is Duke receiver Conner Vernon.
Win or lose against Wake Forest on Saturday, Vernon could finish the day as the ACC’s all-time leader in career receptions. Vernon has 227 career catches and needs just six more to become the conference leader. Former Clemson standout Aaron Kelly holds the league record with 232 catches.
Considering Vernon is averaging 7.2 catches per game, there is a good chance he could set the reception record this weekend. He has been one of the most dependable receivers in the country and enters Saturday’s game against the Deacs with the longest receiving streak in FBS football. He has caught at least one pass in 39 consecutive games. Vernon is one of only seven players nationally with a streak of at least 30 games.
“Connor Vernon has been terrifically consistent,” coach David Cutcliffe said. “Any route, any circumstance you put him in, he has a chance to be successful.”
Vernon leads all active FBS receivers in both career receptions and career receiving yards. He needs 442 more receiving yards to become the ACC’s all-time leader in that category, too.
Vernon has accounted for 16 first-down conversions for Duke this year. In week four against Memphis, Vernon surpassed 3,000 career receiving yards and became the fifth player in ACC history to reach that milestone. He currently ranks fourth in the ACC with 100 receiving yards per game, and he has three touchdowns.