Brandon Connette to Transfer to Fresno State

Streeter Lecka

The former Duke quarterback wanted to come back to the West Coast to be closer to his family, and now he steps into a competition that figures to last well into the fall.

The rumor mill surrounding former Blue Devil Brandon Connette can slow to a halt now, courtesy of the man himself:

Connette visited Fresno State yesterday afternoon and made the move official this evening, and players on Tobacco Road and in the Central Valley have been effusive with their praise:

Last year at Duke, he threw for 13 touchdowns and ran for 14 more, the latter figure leading the team, as the Blue Devils won the ACC Coastal title with a program-best 10-4 record. However, Connette was excused from Duke's Chick-Fil-A Bowl practices back in December because his mother has been battling brain cancer.  As a native of southern California and a college graduate, Connette wanted to play closer to home and will be able to contribute next season regardless of whether or not he wins the competition.

His arrival throws an unsettled quarterback race into further upheaval, but it can be presumed that he becomes the immediate front-runner for the starting job. This would appear to be bad news for Brian Burrell, who spent 2013 as Derek Carr's backup and was thought to have a step on Myles Carr and Zack Greenlee at the end of spring practices.

Connette has a different skill set than the departed Carr, but it will be interesting to see how the Bulldogs incorporate his apparent red zone prowess; for all of Carr's production, his numbers dipped inside the opponents' 20-yard line, while Connette's numbers improved the closer Duke got to six points. Tim DeRuyter isn't likely to name his starter until August, but Connette's arrival makes the competition one of the more intriguing battles in the world of college football.

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