Just a few minutes after quarterback Chris Katrenick announced on Twitter he was entering the NCAA transfer portal, Jacobs football coach Bill Mitz received a call from Temple quarterbacks coach Craig Harmon.
Harmon was on former Northern Illinois University coach Rod Carey’s staff before going to Temple with Carey. The Owls’ coaches remembered Katrenick, a former Jacobs quarterback, who graduated in 2017.
Clearly, Katrenick, a backup at Duke, will be a popular player with college coaches as he seeks a place to play for his final two years of eligibility.
Katrenick recently made his announcement, saying he was extremely blessed to be at Duke, and that after much consideration he was entering the portal and was excited for what is next. Katrenick ended his message with: “Forever Duke, CK.”
Katrenick made it clear that he left Duke coach David Cutcliffe’s program on good terms with the staff and just wants a chance to play. He opted out of the season in October to concentrate on academics.
“Yeah, very good terms,” Katrenick said. “(The coaches) are very good guys and they’ve helped me along the way a lot. We have a really good relationship. I’m happy about that.”
Chase Brice, a transfer from Clemson, won the starting job with the Blue Devils this season. Gunnar Holmberg was the backup. Katrenick was 2-for-3 passing for 40 yards in the one game in which he played.
“It’s hard to say what happened,” Katrenick said. “This year in itself (with the COVID-19 pandemic) was very different. It was a great QB room, I really liked it. I had to opt out of the season and focus on myself. It was something I thought I had to do. It was hard, I had a lot of support and great teammates.”
Katrenick (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) will return to Duke for the spring semester and finish his graduate degree in Master of Management Studies at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. He completed his undergraduate degree in public policy in three years.
“Luckily, that’s been taken care of and I’ll finish that out,” Katrenick said. “The football side, I feel like there’s an opportunity out there for me to be playing. I think coach Cutcliffe would say the same, that there will be a good spot out there that fits. It’s just time for me.”
Katrenick is early in the process, but has heard from some schools and expects to reach out to more schools. Mitz plans on helping in any way he can as well.
“This whole thing is really interesting,” Mitz said. “There’s a lot of players going into this portal. It’s going to be interesting with all the rules, saying this year doesn’t count (against eligibility). It’ll be interesting to see where he ends up.”
Mitz also heard from Eastern Illinois University offensive coordinator John Kuceyeski.
Katrenick now will look for a place to play and can work on another graduate degree.
“It would be great to get a degree in something a little more unique than what I have,” Katrenick said. “Just add to the résumé. I’m really looking forward to playing football. Duke was a difficult school academically. I’m proud of what I’ve done there and now I want to have fun playing football, and, in a perfect situation, adding to my résumé.”