Austin Duke was part of the first recruiting class ever for the UNC Charlotte 49ers Division I football program. Duke is a local product from Independence High School where he was Southwestern 4A Offensive Player of the Year in 2011. The local Wide Receiver was the 49ers leading receiver for four straight seasons. He ended his career with 3,437 receiving yards, 253 receptions, and 24 touchdowns. During his breakout year in 2014 he had 1,373 receiving yards including six 100-yard games and two 200-yard games. Duke has the potential to be a great slot wide receiver at the next level. At the next level the wide out will show his explosiveness and big play ability. An NFL team will be able to get a steal if they land this special talent.
Q: What other schools were in your final list of places to play collegiately?
Austin: NC Central
Q: What made you choose UNC Charlotte, especially being part of the inaugural season?
Austin: It was honor to be a part of the first recruiting class, that is something that meant a lot for me when making my decision. Being from Charlotte helped as well; this allowed me to play in my hometown. The second reason was because of Coach Lambert. He is a great guy and great coach to play for.
Q: What is the biggest thing you want to improve on in your game to get to the next level?
Austin: My separation between defenders. I felt very good today at practice and felt I have been improving on that aspect of my game.
Q: Is there any NFL player you compare your game to?
Austin: My presence on the field would be compared to Steve Smith. I like to have his mentality during games, knowing I can beat anyone out there. Physically, when playing, I compare myself to Desean Jackson. I play the game in a similar way; I am able to make the big play and can run my routes well.
Q: What is the main reason you are playing in this All Star Game?
Austin: Being invited to this all-star game was a huge honor. I want to get my name out there during this game and go out there to compete. You never know who is watching and I can’t wait to play in this game.
Look for Austin Duke on January 15th in the Tropical Bowl. He will be wearing #10 on the American White team coached by Todd Littlejohn. Duke will be sure to make some noise during the game and at the next level.
Photo Courtesy of charlotteobserver.com