Duke

Thomas Sirk transferring to East Carolina

Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk waves to spectators before the Blue Devils intrasquad scrimmage at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham last Aug.19. After missing last season with an Achilles tendon injury, Sirk is transferring to East Carolina.
Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk waves to spectators before the Blue Devils intrasquad scrimmage at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham last Aug.19. After missing last season with an Achilles tendon injury, Sirk is transferring to East Carolina. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Thomas Sirk will conclude his college football career at East Carolina.

Duke’s starting quarterback in 2015 who missed all of last season due to an injured Achilles tendon, Sirk announced on Friday he’ll transfer and play for the Pirates this season.

“Beyond blessed to have another year to play the game I love,” Sirk wrote on his Twitter feed. “I will spend my final year at East Carolina University.”

Sirk decided in February to leave Duke as a graduate transfer. That means he’s eligible to play immediately at his new school. ECU was one of three schools Sirk visited along with Southern Mississippi and South Carolina.

With the Pirates, Sirk will be reunited with Scottie Montgomery, who was Duke’s offensive coordinator in 2014 and 2015 during the two seasons Sirk was healthy and playing for the Blue Devils.

Montgomery is entering his second season as ECU’s head coach. Last season, the Pirates beat rival N.C. State but stumbled to a 3-9 record and failed to play in a bowl game.

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.

He earned his undergraduate degree last May and is on track to complete a graduate degree this spring.

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. 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.

It’s Duke’s only bowl win since the 1961 Cotton Bowl.

Sirk’s torn Achilles tendon 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.

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.

Steve Wiseman: 919-419-6671, @stevewisemanNC

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