RB Dukes considering leaving after season

Penn State tailback Curtis Dukes will finish out this season, but he's considering leaving afterward because of limited playing time, his high school coach told ESPN.

"We talked just 10 minutes ago, and he's still weighing his options," Indian River (N.Y.) coach Cory Marsell said. "There's a chance he can get his degree soon and then figure out what options he has."

Those options include staying with Penn State, transferring to another college or declaring for the NFL draft. Marsell believed the redshirt junior's size -- 6-foot-1, 245 pounds -- could translate well to the next level.

Dukes, who has just 69 career carries, first told the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times he was unhappy with his playing time.

"I still don't know my decision to stay next year or declare for the NFL draft," he told the Daily Times. "I'm really just taking it one day at a time."

Marsell said he was unaware that Penn State's sanctions meant Dukes was eligible to transfer next year and not sit out a season. He said he wasn't certain if Dukes was aware of that, either.

Four schools approached Dukes before this season, but the tailback opted to remain in Happy Valley.

"He thought if he showed them loyalty, he would get the same thing," Marsell said. "Just me knowing Curtis, for him to get where he's gotten, it's been because of hard work. I know he's going to work hard for them.

"Maybe there are some difficulties for him understanding some of the schemes but, even with that, he could have a package set where he gets some time."

Through six games, Dukes is sixth on the team in carries (26) and fourth in yards (98). He entered this season as the likely backup to Silas Redd, but that dynamic shifted after he missed spring practice because of academic issues.

Even with Redd's transfer, Dukes' touches have been limited. He's played in only two games where he carried the ball more than five times.

"I've been in this game for too long, and I feel like I deserve more of a shot, to have more playing time and get more exposure," Dukes told the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times.

His departure would leave just three contributing running backs for next season: Bill Belton, Akeel Lynch and Zach Zwinak. However, the Nittany Lions also seem intent on adding a tailback to their 2013 recruiting class.