Duke University linebacker Joe Giles-Harris will forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2019 National Football League draft. The Nyack, N.Y., native has completed his Duke degree requirements in cultural anthropology with a minor in political science and will graduate in May of 2019.
“Congratulations to Joe for putting himself in a position to continue his football career,” head coach David Cutcliffe said. “We are thrilled for him and his family as this opportunity presents itself. We could not be more appreciative of Joe’s commitment and dedication as he has represented our program both on and off the field to the highest degree. Two-time first team All-ACC linebackers don’t come around very often and while Joe will be missed, we wish him the best of luck.”
A team captain in 2018 and the 2017 team Most Valuable Player, Giles-Harris played in and started 34 career games with the Blue Devils and compiled 312 tackles, 32.0 tackles for lost yardage, 9.5 sacks, 15 quarterback pressures, one caused fumble and one fumble recovery.
Giles-Harris, an All-America selection in 2017, closes his career ranking 10th on the Duke career chart in tackles for loss and 19th in tackles. His 16.0 tackles for loss in 2017 are tied for the 10th most in a campaign by a Blue Devil.
In 2018, Giles-Harris carded 80 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, two quarterback pressures and one blocked field goal. His season was highlighted by a 15-tackle effort at Georgia Tech, which netted him ACC Linebacker of the Week accolades. He also turned in double-digit tackles at Pittsburgh (10) and Miami (12).
Giles-Harris earned first team All-ACC honors in both 2017 and 2018, becoming the first Duke linebacker with multiple first team all-league accolades since Mike Junkin in 1985-86.
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.
The Blue Devils open the 2019 campaign on August 31 against Alabama in Atlanta, Ga., in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.
STATEMENT FROM JOE GILES-HARRIS
The last four years of my life have been some of the best. It has been a blessing and privilege to wear Duke blue and represent this great university.
After much thought, I have decided to forgo my last year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft to pursue my lifelong dream of playing professional football.
Thank you to Duke University, Dr. White, Coach Cutcliffe, the entire Duke football staff and Blue Devil fans for providing me with an unforgettable experience.
I’d also like to thank my family for their continuous love and support throughout this journey. If it were not for them, I would not be the man I am. Finally, I give all glory to God because without Him, none of this would be possible!