In addition, Vernon was joined by teammates Brian Moore and Desmond Scott on the Sporting News Freshman All-ACC squad.
A 6-2, 195-pound native of Miami, Fla., Vernon established school single-season records for pass receptions (55), receiving yards (746) and 100-yard receiving game (3) by a freshman in 2009. In addition, his 13.5 yards per catch average ranks as the sixth-highest by a Duke rookie and his three touchdown receptions matched the school’s fourth-best single-season output for freshmen. Vernon’s 1,041 all-purpose yards rank as the fourth-best single-season performance by a Duke freshman.
Moore, a 6-3, 275-pound offensive guard from Coral Gables, Fla., started all 12 games at right guard in 2009, helping the Blue Devils lead the ACC and rank ninth in the nation in passing offense (305.0 ypg). Moore helped the Duke offensive line rank third in the conference in sacks allowed per passing attempt (17.89) behind only Florida State (20.65) and Clemson (19.79).
Scott, a 5-10, 185-pound running back from Durham, N.C., earned a spot on the all-freshman unit as a specialist after returning 18 kickoffs for 452 yards, good for a 25.1 yards per return average that ranks fourth in the ACC and sits third on the school’s single-season chart for rookies. In the season finale against Wake Forest, he returned seven kickoffs for 211 yards – the third-highest single-game total in Duke history – en route to setting a new school single-game record for all-purpose yards (259) by a freshman.
Vernon is the 10th Duke rookie to earn Freshman All-America honors from Sporting News since 2000, joining Ryan Fowler (LB/3rd team/2000), Jim Scharrer (LB/4th team/2001), Ben Patrick (TE/3rd team/2003), Chris Davis (KR/3rd team/2004), Michael Tauiliili (LB/1st team/2005), Zack Asack (QB/HM/2005), Vince Oghobaase (DT/HM/2006), Thaddeus Lewis (QB/HM/2006), Kevin Jones (P/HM/2007) and Kyle Hill (OG/2nd team/2008).