DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Joe Giles-Harris is proud that he started 12 games as a redshirt freshman at Duke. During his sophomore year, he wants to improve on that number.
Of course, the only way he can make 13 starts is if the Blue Devils qualify for a bowl – something they failed to do in the linebacker’s first season on the field.
Giles-Harris led all Atlantic Coast Conference freshmen with 107 tackles and was second nationally among freshmen with 8.97 stops per game. But those impressive stats felt a bit empty for a program that reached four consecutive bowls before taking a step back in 2016.
”The only number that stood out to me was, I started every game,” Giles-Harris said. ”That was the most exciting part. Tackles and tackles for a loss, that really didn’t matter to me. I mean, at the end of the day, we won four games. I wasn’t really proud of it, but I was proud that I was able to play in all 12 games and that was an exciting thing for me, being my first season, I kind of shocked myself at that one.”
Giles-Harris was one of the bright spots in a rough year for a program that had grown accustomed to making the postseason. His tackle average ranked fourth in the league, and he had at least one tackle for a loss in nine games. Duke finished 4-8 for its first losing record since 2012, and missed a bowl for the first time since 2011.
Source: Fox Sports