Renfree prepped Duke's Connette for new role

Sep. 10, 2013 @ 01:57 PM

When Brandon Connette’s role with Duke football morphed into an all-purpose job that had him shuttling between multiple positions, his only demand was to remain close to his quarterback roots.

Sometimes a tight end, sometimes a running back, sometimes a slot receiver and, yes, sometimes a quarterback, Connette thought it important to remain in quarterback meetings exclusively.

The reason? Sean Renfree.

In three years playing with Renfree on Duke’s offense in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Connette said he learned plenty from the current Atlanta Falcon that will help him now that’s he’s taking over as Duke’s starting quarterback.

“I made it clear to Coach (David) Cut and Coach (Kurt) Roper that I wanted to stay in the quarterback meeting room,” Connette said Monday. “That’s where I felt I could best learn how to be a quarterback, from being around Sean Renfree and seeing how he breaks down film.”

Renfree developed a systematic approach to film work. He’d watch first-down plays one day, second-down plays another and so on, also incorporating third-down and red-zone plays.

“Sean Renfree took me under his wing and taught me how to prepare for a game,” Connette said.

Being in the quarterback room also helped Connette have what he feels is the best grasp on the offense he could get. Cutcliffe said Tuesday he agreed fully.

“Being in the quarterback room you learn how to be a quarterback but you also have to learn everyone’s positions,” Connette said. “Even if you are playing another position, if you prepare to play quarterback you are never going to be surprised.”

That’s fortunate for Duke, which needs Connette to keep its offense strong while Anthony Boone recovers from the broken collarbone he suffered last Saturday at Memphis.