By Johnny Moore

It’s not hard to see why Duke head coach David Cutcliffe is excited about the coming season. At the weak linebacker spot he has a player who, in his first season on the field, accumulated an assortment of honors and accolades simply because of all the hits he dealt out on opponents.

Joe Giles-Harris was named first team Freshman All-America by Athlon Sports, Campus Insiders and USA Today. He was an honorable mention All-ACC pick by both the coaches and media and finished second in balloting for ACC defensive rookie of the year. The Nyack, N.Y., native tallied double-digit tackles in five ACC contests, including a 16-tackle performance against North Carolina to earn ACC linebacker of the week honors. He became the fourth Duke freshman to lead the team in total tackles with 107, joining Erwin Sampson (1988), Ryan Fowler (2000) and Michael Tauiliili (2005).

Giles-Harris enters the 2017 season scheduled to start again alongside his roommate Ben Humphreys and with his younger brother J.T. on campus as a member of the Duke lacrosse team.

We talked with him about last year and the upcoming season.

As you head into this year, what is the biggest difference from last year, when you were a rookie on the field?

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