WR Khary Sharpe

2002 Statistics

Coach: Carl Franks
5-40, 4 years
2002 Record: 2-10
at Northwestern LOST 21-26
at Florida State LOST 17-48
at Navy WON 43-17
at Wake Forest LOST 10-36
at NC State LOST 22-24
at Georgia Tech LOST 2-17

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

Duke Athletic Director Joe Aleva's comments upon extending Franks' contract puts the state of the Blue Devils' football program in perspective. At that time, he said "You have to crawl before you can walk, and you have to walk before you can run. We are making progress." This attitude explains how a coach can lead his team to a 5-40 record in four seasons and earn a three-year extension (not guaranteed) of his contract.

We are not saying that was a bad idea. Duke did make some significant progress on the gridiron in 2002, staying in eight of their twelve games and even winning two of them (over East Carolina and Navy). That was respectable, much better than the regular pummeling the Blue Devils had received the two seasons before that.

Indeed, whom better could Aleva have brought in to lead this team at this point? Franks is a Duke graduate who does not view this job as a stepping stone. Their last successful coach was Steve Spurrier, and it was quickly obvious his stay in Durham would be a short one. With Franks at the helm, there is the possibility that the Blue Devils' football program can scratch and claw its way back to respectability.

The offense and defense have their work cut out for them. Many teams do not know their weaknesses until it is too late, deep into the season. Duke knows what it has to do to overcome its 2003's obstacles. But, then again, so does everyone else. Opponents' game plans can be started now, unless the Blue Devils have some secret, freshmen weapons no one knows. It could happen, huh… but not this season.

Having ended a 23-game losing streak, there will be pressure on Franks' team to stop a 25-game skid in ACC games dating back to 1999. That will happen on October 18, when Duke will beat Wake Forest at home. The question is, will there be enough fans in attendance to tear down the goalposts?

With additional home games against Western Carolina, Rice, and Northwestern, a four-win season is a reasonable expectation.

Projected 2003 record: 4-8
QB - 2 DL - 3
RB - 3.5 LB - 3
WR - 2 DB - 2
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Adam Smith, 308-174-9, 2031 yds., 12 TD

Rushing: Alex Wade, 201 att., 979 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Khary Sharpe, 30 rec., 458 yds., 6 TD

Scoring: Brent Garber, 14-26 FG, 21-23 PAT, 63 pts.

Punting: Trey McDonald, 49 punts, 39.2 avg.

Kicking: Brent Garber, 14-26 FG, 21-23 PAT, 63 pts.

Tackles: Ryan Fowler, 145 tot., 78 solo

Sacks: Micah Harris, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Alex Green, 3 for 31 yds.

Kickoff returns: Ronnie Elliott, 17 ret., 17.3 avg.

Punt returns: Khary Sharpe, 26 ret., 6.2 avg.


LB Ryan Fowler
DEFENSE: Shawn Johnson-DE (transferred), Jamyon Small-LB

written by James Johnson

Alex Wade came out of nowhere in 2002 to earn 2nd team All-ACC RB honors for the Blue Devils. Wade, a 6'1" 250 pound senior, averaged 4.9 yards per carry, posted five 100-yard games, and nearly broke the 1,000-yard mark. He is one of the strongest players on the team (he can bench press 390 pounds) and uses that strength to be an effective between-the-tackles power runner.

Wade's partner in the backfield, fellow senior Chris Douglas, is a perfect compliment to the powerful fullback. Douglas possesses breakaway speed and is a dangerous receiving threat. He took advantage of his touches last year, averaging 4.9 yards per rushing attempt and 12.1 yards per reception, a nice number for coaches to see in a running back.

Both backs will enjoy as much success this year, in large part due to the fact that the starting offensive line returns intact. Drew Strojny, a 6'8" 300 pound senior tackle, has started 31 consecutive games for Duke. Senior Luke Bayer has started 18 straight games, splitting time between center and guard.

Other returning offensive line starters make up one of the largest and most experienced lines in the nation. They demonstrated strong run blocking last season, and will only be better with another year of playing together under those beefy belts.

Quarterback Adam Smith, a 6'5, 205 pound junior, was thrust into the starting lineup when incumbent starter D. Bryant was declared ineligible last season. Under the circumstances, he performed reasonably well, but does not offer the promise of developing into anything more than a serviceable quarterback. He has a strong arm and the height to see over rushing defensive linemen, but is not particularly fleet afoot.

Smith can manage a ball control game adequately, but falls short of being a quarterback who can shoulder the responsibility of making big plays on his own. Smith's backup, junior Chris Dapolito, is a better athlete but completed less than 40% of his passes in spot duty.

None of Duke's receivers offers anything special. Junior Khary Sharpe was the Blue Devils' leading 2002 receiver. He has the speed to be a deep threat, and could put up some big numbers in a different offense. Tight ends Andy Roland (sophomore, 6'4" 225 lbs.) and Calen Powell (junior, 6'5", 235) are also important parts of Coach Carl Franks' short passing game. But their size precludes either from being a major presence in run-blocking. Look for opposing LBs to stick them hard at the line of scrimmage, rendering them neutral for whatever type of play may be called.


RB Alex Wade


Returning Starters in bold
QB Adam Smith-Jr (6-5, 205) Chris Dapolito-Jr (6-3, 215)
FB Alex Wade-Sr (6-1, 255) Zach Novak-Jr (6-1, 240)
TB Chris Douglas-Sr (6-0, 190) Cedric Dargan-So (6-0, 200)
WR Senterrio Landrum-Jr (5-9, 185) Lance Johnson-Jr (6-1, 205)
WR Khary Sharpe-Jr (5-11, 175) Reggie Love-Sr (6-4, 225)
TE Andy Roland-So (6-4, 220) Calen Powell-Jr (6-5, 245)
OT Drew Strojny-Sr (6-8, 300) Jim Moravchik-So (6-6, 300)
OG Daryl Lewis-Sr (6-3, 330) Joe Boniewicz-Jr (6-4, 290)
C Luke Bayer-Sr (6-5, 290) Dan Moonley-Jr (6-5, 290)
OG Rusty Wilson-Sr (6-3, 330) Lavdrim Bauta-Fr (6-5, 275)
OT Christian Mitchell-Jr (6-7, 315) Chris Best-So (6-5, 270)
K Brent Garber-Sr (6-1, 195) Matt Brooks-Jr (6-1, 190)



written by James Johnson

Defensive end Shawn Johnson was selected First-Team All-ACC and led the conference with 12 sacks and added another 7.5 tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hurries. Bad news: Shawn has decided to transfer from Duke for personal reasons, leaving a HUGE void on the defensive side/line. Also receiving All-ACC honorable mention was NT Matt Zielinski, who had 18.5 tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hurries, and forced three fumbles. It will be imperative that Matt take up the slack on the front lines ability to put pressure on the passer. But another muscle mass must step up, too, so defenses do not effectively key on Zielinski.

Anchoring the linebacking corps is senior Ryan Fowler, who earned All-ACC honorable mention. Fowler led Duke tacklers, including 15 for loss.

Defensive coordinator Ted Roof is in his second season at Duke after enjoying great success in the same position at Georgia Tech. Roof has already added to his coaching resume by taking a formerly soft Blue Devil defense and toughening them up in a hurry.

Duke only allowed 122 yards per game on the ground (best in the ACC) in 2002, yielding only 3.4 yards per rushing attempt despite starting only one senior. With nearly all key players returning and having a second year to get comfortable with Roof's system, the Devils will be a very tough team to exploit through ball-control methods.

In light of their success in stopping the run, Duke still gave up 34 points or more five times. Opponents had to pass, and they completed over 60% of their passes and gained over 250 yards per game against the Blue Devils. They also converted a disturbingly high 41% of third downs.

All four starters return in the secondary this season, and that could be more bad news than good. This group was routinely shredded by opposing quarterbacks. Coach Roof will have to start with some soft zone coverage and turn his defensive line and linebackers loose in aggressive blitz-schemes to have any chance of slowing down opponent's air-attacks. Duke does have one playmaker in the defensive backfield - senior S Terrell Smith, who recovered four fumbles and intercepted three passes while finishing second on the team in tackles. Once again, it cannot be stressed enough how important the loss of sack leader Shawn Johnson was in terms of a defensive ripple effect.


DT Matt Zielinski


Returning Starters in bold
DE Micah Harris-Jr (6-4, 240) Phillip Alexander-So (6-4, 235)
DT Matt Zielinski-Sr (6-3, 290) Bob Benion-So (6-3, 270)
DT Orrin Thompson-Jr (6-7, 285) Drew Ciepcielinski-Jr (6-5, 255)
DE David Martin-So (6-4, 240) Eli Nichols-Fr (6-5, 235)
LB Giuseppe Aguanno-Jr (6-1, 235) Justin Kitchen-So (6-4, 215)
LB Ryan Fowler-Sr (6-4, 235) Codey Lowe-Fr (6-2, 230)
LB Brendan Dewan-So (6-2, 210) DeAndre White-So (6-0, 200)
CB Kenneth Stanford-Jr (5-9, 180) John-Paul Kimbrough-So (5-11, 195)
CB Brian Greene-So (6-1, 185) Temo George-Sr (5-9, 180)
S Terrell Smith-Sr (5-11, 180) Mark Thompson-So (6-3, 200)
S Alex Green-Jr (6-2, 190) C.J. Woodard-So (6-0, 175)
P Trey McDonald-Jr (6-2, 215) Matt Brooks-Jr (6-1, 190)




Place kicker Brent Garber showed a lot of promise in his junior season last year. He converted on 7-of-15 FGAs beyond 40 yards, and was reported to have connected on a 71-yard attempt in practice. He missed on all three of his tries between 30-39 yards, however, and needs to develop more consistency. A team like Duke that will not make many big plays on offense needs to convert on FG chances more than the 54% Garber did last season.

The punting duties are in good hands with junior Trey McDonald. He does not have a booming leg, but gets good hang time on his kicks and is adept at dropping punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line.

Kick returns are a particular weakness of the Blue Devils on both sides of the ball. Khary Sharpe handled most of the punt return duties last season and only averaged 6.2 yards per attempt. Sophomore Ronnie Elliott and junior Senterrio Landrum shared the kickoff return load, but both players failed to even average 20 yards per return.

On the coverage side, the punt coverage was decent, averaging 9.0 yards a return, but Duke gave up nearly 25 yards per kickoff return. The fact that no individual on the staff is designated as a special team coach shows that Head Coach Carl Franks does not consider these units a very high priority. Until that changes, there is no reason to think the performance will improve.