Found June 04, 2012 on SCACC Hoops:

Ask most any Duke Football fan to give you an assessment of Blue Devil quarterback Sean Renfree and the likelihood is you are going to get a mixed bag of answers.  Granted most fans don't always produce the most knowledgable or even sensible player evaluations; most fans would agree that Renfree's career has been spotty and inconsistent at best.

It seems kind of odd considering Renfree has put up some pretty good numbers. In this three year career, two of which have been spent as the starter. Renfree has thrown for 6,352 yards, and 31 touchdowns. Not bad right?

But he also has thrown 30 interceptions over his career and as a starter he has only won 6 games, and that stat is the one that means the most.

Renfree came into Duke with a lot of buzz. He was widely recruited nationally out of Arizona and initially committed to Georgia Tech under then coach Chan Gailey. When Gailey was let go and the Yellow Jackets hired Paul Johnson, Renfree looked elsewhere.

More of a traditional prostyle pocket passer, Renfree obviously was less likely to fit into Johnson's version of the triple option. He chose Duke who had just hired renowned quarterback guru David Cutcliffe.

After sitting and learning behind senior quarterback Thad Lewis, Renfree impressed Cutcliffe enough to get some snaps in the 2009 season. He, however, suffered a set back and a major one when he tore his ACL in a game ironically enough against Georgia Tech.

After rehabing and missing all of Spring practice prior to the 2010 season, Renfree put up solid numbers that season but the team as a whole fell off winning only three games after winning five games the previous season.

His numbers: 3,131 yards, completing 61 percent of his passes and throwing 14 touchdowns but 17 interceptions: Not bad numbers considering he was a first year starter.

Those numbers were expected to grow last season as he was a year older and had lots of experience behind him, especially at the receiver position. But that just did not happen.

His numbers were down across the board for the most part. He did complete a greater percentage of his throws but also had fewer attempts and if you watched any Duke games you saw Renfree make a lot of decisions to throw or dump passes off to his backs.
 
He threw for fewer yards and touchdowns though also threw fewer interceptions. Still those watching Renfree just left with a feeling that something was not quite right.

For starters, Renfree, like his predecessor Lewis, made a living on crossing patterns and play action passes. But last season it seemed as if Renfree lost confidence going downfield and his decisions were quick and he seemed generally uncomfortable in the pocket. It wasn't like he was playing behind an inexperienced offensive line though.

He was sacked fewer times in 2011 compared to 2010. And again he had a veteran receiving corps that he was, or should have been comfortable with. At times he seemed to read through his progressions too quickly and opt to dump the ball off to his third or fourth option.

Now I'm not sure if those decisions were part of the intended plan but it didn't appear to be the case.

Part of the problem very well could have been the ineffectiveness of the running game, that despite, experience at running back, suffered injuries and inconsistency. Most defenses keyed on the pass and the running game came mostly from the back up quarterback position.

Cutcliffe addressed the issue saying that Renfree would often think too much and be too hard on himself trying to make the perfect throw or the perfect read.  Fans were wondering if Cutcliffe's propensity to pull Renfree in third and short situations and in the redzone contributed to a lack of confidence.

Cutcliffe refuted the notion and Renfree even addressed it as not being a problem, though honestly the interview that I remembered seeing appeared to show a kid trying to convince himself of what he was saying.

Entering his senior season, Renfree has one last shot at proving that he is the type of quarterback that many Duke fans have been hopeful that he would turn into. The spring football game honestly left me with just as many doubts.

Renfree struggled against the first team defense and seemed to be out played by backup Brandon Connette who went on to win the offensive MVP of the game. Granted Renfree was without several of his weapons, I was expecting more.

Renfree is a smart kid and a good quarterback but many fans, myself including are wondering if he doesn't step up his game, should it be time for Cutcliffe to considering making a switch at the starting quarterback position.

Cutcliffe is a loyal guy, but ultimately appears to want to win and I have confidence that if Renfree can't get the job done that Cutclifee or even Renfree himself might pull the trigger.

But every Duke fan is hoping that Renfree comes out prepared to be the kind of quarterback we all believe and hope he can be. Duke will certainly need it and the team that Duke puts out on the field this season should be able to win some games this season.

Ultimately Renfree's legacy will be judged on how he does this season and how the program either moves forward or remains the same.
 

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