This is called grading on a curve. Manny Diaz’s offseason was quite a bit more difficult than the rest of the conference’s. Mike Elko left for Texas A&M and while he didn’t take any players with him, Duke lost impact guys like Riley Leonard, RJ Oben, and Aeneas Peebles. Typically those losses would drop Duke further in these rankings, but that’s just the nature of a regime change, so I’ll let them slide.
However, Diaz came in and addressed the biggest problem with a home-run portal addition. Texas’s quarterback room was a bit too crowded for Maalik Murphy, so the former four-star went in search of a starting opportunity. Duke was the perfect fit and now Diaz, who coached the No. 1 defense in the country at Penn State last year has a talented player to lead his offense.
As he begins his second stint as an ACC head coach, Diaz proved that he learned how to prioritize the most important positions on the field. He not only secured Murphy but brought in five offensive linemen to protect him.