Duke University quarterback Daniel Jones will forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2019 National Football League draft. The Charlotte, N.C., native graduated from Duke this month with a degree in economics.
“Without a doubt, we are excited for Daniel and his decision to enter the upcoming NFL Draft and could not be happier for him and his family,” head coach David Cutcliffe said. “Daniel has been a cornerstone of our program and leaves with our full support. It has been a privilege to coach him, but the best part about Daniel is he’s an even better young man than he is a football player. The bottom line is he’s a special person and we’ll miss him greatly.”
A two-year captain and two-time team Most Valuable Player, Jones played in and started 36 career games with the Blue Devils and completed 764 of 1,275 (.599) passes for 8,201 yards with 52 touchdowns and 29 interceptions while rushing 406 times for 1,323 yards and 17 scores.
Jones closes his career holding Duke all-time records for touchdown-to-interception ratio (1.79), pass completion-to-interception ratio (26.34), pass attempt-to-interception ratio (43.97) and pass attempts per game (35.42). In addition, on Duke’s all-time charts he ranks second in pass completion percentage, second in pass completions per game (21.22), second in most games with multiple touchdown passes (16), second in total offensive yards (9,524), second in TD responsibility (52 passing and 17 rushing), tied for second in games with 30 or more pass completions (5), tied for second in 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback (2), third in passing yards per game (227.81), third in TD passes, third in rushing TDs by a quarterback, tied for third in most games with three or more TD passes (6), third in TD passes of 20 or more yards (27), third in games with 20 or more pass completions (20), third in rushing yards by a quarterback, fourth in pass efficiency rating (122.86), tied for fourth in 300-yard passing games (9), fifth in passing yards, fifth in pass completions, fifth in pass attempts and tied for 14th in rushing TDs.
In 2018, Jones completed 237 of 392 (.605) passes for 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing for 319 yards and three TDs on 104 attempts. The regular season was highlighted by a pair of ACC Quarterback of the Week citations following wins over Northwestern and North Carolina. In the triumph over the Tar Heels, his third as Duke’s starting quarterback, Jones threw for 361 yards while rushing for 186 yards to post the fifth-highest single-game offensive yardage total (547) in ACC history, also the most by a Blue Devil in a single contest. He capped the season by earning Walk-On’s Independence Bowl Offensive Player of the Game honors after leading Duke to a 56-27 win over Temple thanks to a bowl-record 423 passing yards and six total touchdowns (5 passing and 1 rushing).
Jones was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2017 Quick Lane Bowl after compiling 338 yards of total offense and accounting for three touchdowns (2 passing and 1 rushing) in a 36-14 victory over Northern Illinois.
Duke concluded the 2018 season with an 8-5 overall record after defeating Temple, 56-27, in the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl during the Blue Devils’ sixth bowl appearance in the past seven years.
Duke will return three quarterbacks for the 2019 season including rising redshirt senior Quentin Harris, redshirt sophomore Chris Katrenick and redshirt freshman Gunnar Holmberg. The Blue Devils open the campaign on August 31 against Alabama in Atlanta, Ga., in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.
STATEMENT FROM DANIEL JONES
After careful deliberation with family, close friends and coaches, I have decided to forgo my final year of eligibility and declare for the 2019 NFL draft.
Growing up in Charlotte, I watched Coach Cutcliffe transform the Duke Football program into a true force within the ACC with annual bowl eligibility and championship expectations. It became my dream to play for him and the Duke program, and these last four years have surpassed my every expectation. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to graduate from one of the most respected academic institutions in the world while growing and maturing through a football experience that taught me far more than the game itself.
To the Duke Football fans, thank you for your support of our team and of me individually as a player. The opportunity to represent you on and off the field was a tremendous honor and is something I will treasure for a lifetime.
To my teammates, I would like to say thank you to each one of you. Every single player I have had the honor to share the locker room with has taught me something. I am forever grateful for the brotherhood, friendship and support. Thank you for allowing me the honor of being your quarterback.
To Dr. White and our athletic administration, football coaches, strength coaches, sports medicine staff, equipment staff and the academic staff, thank you all for all you all have done for me over my time at Duke. Your care and support for the student-athletes is what makes our program special.
To Coach Cutcliffe, thank you for giving me a chance to play for Duke University. Your support and guidance over these four years has meant the world to me. Thank you for the role you have played in my development as both a player and as a person. I will forever be indebted to you for this opportunity.
I look forward to representing Duke University and Duke Football for the rest of my life, and will do my best to make you all proud.