Duke’s Vernon accepts Senior Bowl invite
DURHAM — Duke’s Conner Vernon, the ACC’s career leader in pass receptions and receiving yardage, has accepted an invitation to play in the 64th Senior Bowl, which will be played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. on Jan. 26 (4 p.m., NFL Network).
In 48 games at Duke, Vernon caught 283 passes for 3,749 yards and 21 touchdowns and established ACC records for pass receptions, receiving yardage, most consecutive games with at least one pass reception (48), most seasons with 50-plus receptions (four) and most seasons with 70-plus receptions (three). On the NCAA’s career charts, he ranks 23rd for catches and 24th for receiving yards.
The Miami native posted 85 receptions for 1,074 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior captain in 2012, when the Blue Devils played in a bowl game for the first time since 1994. The 85 catches set a Duke single-season record and matched the fifth-highest single-season total in ACC history.
Vernon will become the 21st player from Duke to play in the Senior Bowl and first Blue Devil since Chris Combs participated in the game after the 1999 season.
Duke’s Hartmann takes 6th
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Duke redshirt freshman Conner Hartmann wrapped up action at the Southern Scuffle with a sixth-place finish in the 197-pound division. The Blue Devils finished 16th overall in the 24-team field with 23.5 points.
Hartmann, seeded eighth in the Scuffle, placed in a tournament for the third time this season. He has placed among the top six now in every tournament he’s entered in 2012-13. Duke’s 16th-place finish is an improvement of three places from a season ago.
After falling to the tournament’s top seed and third-ranked Quentin Wright in the championship quarterfinals, Hartmann bounced back with a pair of victories in the consolation bracket to ensure a top-six finish.