Maalik Murphy is a massive addition for Duke football

New Duke football coach Manny Diaz will have a talented quarterback coming in next season in Maalik Murphy.

Dec 2, 2023; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Maalik Murphy (6) in action during the
Dec 2, 2023; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Maalik Murphy (6) in action during the / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday was a good day for the Duke football program. Not only did the Blue Devils overcome a bunch of transfer portal departures, as well as the departure of former head coach Mike Elko to win the Birmingham Bowl, but the Blue Devils also landed their new starting quarterback.

Manny Diaz was hired away from Penn State. The Nittany Lions defensive coordinator was the one-time Miami coach and despite all the transfer losses, the cupboard didn't look bare against Troy, an 11-win team on Saturday that Duke football beat 17-10 to finish the season 8-5.

Riley Leonard entering the transfer portal and going to Notre Dame was one of the biggest blows of the offseason. The quarterback didn't have a great season last year, mostly due to injury issues that put a damper on a hot start for Duke which included a win over Clemson.

However, on Saturday, the Blue Devils landed their future starter in former Texas quarterback Maalik Murphy. When Murphy entered the portal, I have to admit I thought teams like Michigan or USC might be in the mix.

Murphy played well in two starts last season -- both wins for the Longhorns. He was also a highly-rated four-star quarterback. Those guys, with multiple years to play, aren't often in the transfer portal. But Duke football did a great job and Diaz has landed a building block. Murphy isn't as proven as other quarterbacks. He's got just 71 career attempts and three touchdowns, as well as three interceptions. But the talent is undeniable and Murphy has the potential to be a high-end starter in the ACC.

By hiring another solid defensive mind, the idea for Duke football is to keep the defense playing at a high level, as it did under Elko. And now, Duke has a blue-chip quarterback (No. 179 overall, No. 12 QB as a recruit) to lead the way for the offense. That's been a rarity in the history of Duke football, so even though the Blue Devils just lost their head coach, the future still feels bright.

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But maybe that's just the afterglow of a bowl win and a blue-chip addition at quarterback from the portal.