After three years of hard work on the defensive front, senior captain Jose Duncan, has accepted and embraced his newfound role as a leader on the University of Rhode Island football team.

Duncan, standing at 6’3 and 260 pounds, was recently named the College Sports Madness CAA Defensive Player of the week. His performance against Harvard on Sept. 16 was outstanding. He recorded two sacks, a forced fumble, five tackles (three for losses) and batted a pass down at the line of scrimmage.

It is no question Duncan plays a large role on the defensive side of the team, but if you ask him, he likes to live one week at a time.  

“I’m just trying to be who my team needs me to be every week and try the best defensive player I can be,” Duncan said.  

His success is benefitting more than the defensive front, too. “He’s one out of 11, and when you’re playing defensive football it’s about playing as one,” Rams head coach Jim Fleming said. “If you’re strong up front, which Jose’s been able to handle the end position for us and do a nice job, it gives us the opportunity to work with the other levels and make sure they keep things limited.”

It’s obvious how much Duncan cares about the team. Duncan himself recognizes the role he plays on the defense as a senior and a captain, and makes sure he is out there each day giving it his all. “Every day as a senior and a captain you have to have the energy,” Duncan said. “Some days when you’re not feeling it, you got to pick it up because that’s your team.”

Since day one, Duncan has left his mark on this coaching staff and doing it with much more than his abilities on the field.

“We told the kid to come visit, we had a half scholarship available to him,” Fleming said. “He jumped on the train and was up here in about 2 or 3 hours. By the end of the weekend I upped that offer to a full scholarship. His demeanor attracted our coaching staff and myself, and the rest has been history.”

Duncan and the Rams continue their season on Saturday as they head to Brown University in Providence for the annual Governor’s Cup game against the Brown Bears.