Duke

Sirk’s search for new college home underway

Thomas Sirk (1) of the Duke Blue Devils avoids a tackle by Wendell Dunn (14) of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during a 2015 game at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem.
Thomas Sirk (1) of the Duke Blue Devils avoids a tackle by Wendell Dunn (14) of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during a 2015 game at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem. Getty Images

Thomas Sirk is catching up with two familiar faces as he searches for his next college football home.

Sources close to the situation confirmed Friday the former Duke quarterback, who is leaving as a graduate transfer, is visiting South Carolina this weekend where former Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper is on the Gamecocks coaching staff.

Sirk has already visited East Carolina, where the Pirates’ head coach is former Duke wide receivers and assistant coach Scottie Montgomery. His only other visit was to Southern Mississippi.

The 6-4, 215-pound Sirk missed all of the 2016 season after twice tearing his left Achilles tendon and having it repaired surgically. He announced on Feb. 27 that he would complete his career at another school. Sirk has torn the Achilles tendons in both ankles during his Duke career, causing him to miss two entire seasons.

He earned his undergraduate degree last May and is on track to complete a graduate degree this spring. So he will be eligible immediately at his new school to play this season.

Sirk’s best season at Duke came in 2015, his lone season as a starter. He completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 2,625 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also led Duke with 803 rushing yards while scoring eight touchdowns.

The Blue Devils went 8-5 and beat Indiana 44-41 in overtime at the Pinstripe Bowl where Sirk was named the game’s co-Most Valuable Player.

His Achilles injuries in February and August 2016 prevented him from playing last season when redshirt freshman Daniel Jones became Duke’s starting quarterback. The NCAA granted Sirk a sixth season of eligibility for 2017.

At South Carolina, Sirk would be reunited with Roper, who was on the Blue Devils staff when Sirk arrived in 2012. Roper is in his second season at the Gamecocks’ co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

South Carolina returns sophomore Jake Bentley, who became the starter as a freshman last season, along with redshirt junior Michael Scarnecchia, who has thrown just one pass in three seasons, and walk-ons Bailey Hart and Danny Gordon.

East Carolina is thin on game experience at quarterback with junior Gardner Minshew the leaders with two career starts. The Pirates also have redshirt freshman Reid Herring and freshman Kingsley Ifedi, who enrolled at ECU in January, getting repetitions in spring practice.

Southern Mississippi needs to replace three-year starter Nick Mullens. This spring, the Eagles have senior Kwadra Griggs and sophomore Keon Howard.

Steve Wiseman: 919-419-6671, @stevewisemanNC

  Comments