BOULDER, Colo. – Since its Oct. 3 loss to Indiana, Michigan has been on a roll, picking up wins against Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois by an average of 53 points per contest. Chening Duker has been in the middle of it all, scoring six tries during the Wolverines’ three-match winning streak. Now, the English-born senior is the Big Ten Universities Player of the Month for October.
Duker is no stranger to individual accolades. Last season, the open side flanker earned Player of the Week recognition after scoring two tries against Illinois. This season, Duker is averaging 12 tackles per match, and has stolen 14 lineouts throughout the fall. As if his on-field prowess wasn’t impressive enough, Duker works just as hard away from the pitch. Currently Michigan’s club president, the program has seen the start of its first endowment, the introduction of the Hall of Inspiration, and a ball sponsorship, all under his guidance.
“Chening is a great ambassador for both the sport of rugby and the University of Michigan,” admired Wolverines Head Coach Brandon Sparks. “His maturity, work ethic, and outgoing personality make it a joy for anyone to be around him. The hustle he has shown on the field has earned him the respect from his teammates and coaches, but it is how he conducts himself away from the field that deserves the most praise.”
In the classroom, Duker has excelled in his studies in Michigan’s Computer Science program, which led him to a challenging, yet rewarding, internship with Google this past summer.
The Wolverines could use another stellar performance out of Duker this weekend, as Michigan needs a win over Ohio State for a chance to play for the 2015 BTU Championship.
Duker joins Indiana’s Bryce Campbell, who was BTU’s Player of the Month for September, as the conference’s monthly recipients.