Durham, NC – Duke football continued its preparations for the 2022 season on Friday with its third official practice at the Brooks Practice Facility.
The Blue Devils made the transition to morning practice on Friday after opening with their first two workouts at night due to summer classes. The team practiced in helmets and shoulder pads, and worked on team, individual and special teams drills. At the conclusion of practice, head coach Mike Elko spoke with members of the media for the first time in camp.
“We’re working at a much faster pace and the tempo is better,” Elko said when asked about the comparison from spring practice to now. “I think the kids’ hard work this summer is really starting to pay off, so that’s been exciting to see. Overall, there is a higher level of football out there than there was in the spring. Obviously, it’s practice three so we still have a long way to go but I think it’s been a good first three days.”
When asked if the team has bought into his new culture, Elko had this to say.
“I’ve been really blessed. As a first-time head coach, you’re always nervous about how people are going to hear your message or what the locker room is going to do when you stand in front of them for the first time. But this group has bought into our messaging and what we’re trying to do and how we want to do things. There has been a lot of change from them and that makes it easier to coach and obviously easier to come out here every day. I’m really happy with where our locker room is. We still have a way to go with details and fundamentals and those types of things, but I come to work and practice every day excited to be around these guys.”
Elko also said that for Duke to be successful this fall, it will need strong support from its upperclassmen.
“In order for us to have success now and do the things that we want to do now we need to have buy in from the older kids. That’s the biggest challenge when you come in as a new coach and staff is how quick do the older kids change. Because if they fight and they resist then you wind up in this world where you’re waiting for ‘your’ locker room and ‘your’ guys. If they buy into what you’re saying and your messaging, and they want to become ‘your’ guys then you can go out and compete with them.”
Duke’s 2022 season opener is Friday, Sept. 2 against Temple. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium and will be broadcast on ACC Network.
Season and single game tickets for the 2022 Duke football season are now on sale. New customers can visit GoDuke.com/FootballTix or call the Duke Athletics Ticket Office at 919-681-BLUE (2583) to purchase tickets. Season ticket holders from 2021 who would like to renew their seats for this season can call the ticket office Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.