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Thursday September 29th

More than a name, Storm Duck stands out on the field

UNC freshman defensive back Storm Duck (29) runs the ball to the sideline. The Tar Heels beat the Bears 56-7 at Kenan Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019.
Buy Photos UNC freshman defensive back Storm Duck (29) runs the ball to the sideline. The Tar Heels beat the Bears 56-7 at Kenan Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019.

Some players make a name for themselves on the field — Storm Duck was born with it. 

Many fans recognize the sophomore cornerback not only for his great play on the field, but they adore Duck for his memorable name. Still, few know the true origins of it. 

His first name came from his mom, who based it off of a long-running CBS show. 

“It came from a soap opera called The Bold and the Beautiful and one of the character’s names was Storm,” Duck said.

Duck said his last name is derived from Native American ancestry. This, and the soap opera origins of his first name led to the creation of Storm Duck. 

He said he has dealt with some teasing, but still loves his name, knowing it’s a big part of who he is.

“It’s a representation of my family," Duck said. "Being able to represent them is really important to me."  

Duck said the sense of pride he feels in his name helps him brush off the teasing that comes with it.

“When people joke about it now, it doesn’t phase me,” he said. “I’ll just joke around with them and laugh about it, too.” 

The loudness of a name like Storm leads people to assume his personality is the same way. Duck said that’s not the case with him.

Duck said he is a very laid-back person who does not do much talking. But on the field, his name matches perfectly.  

“I think it matches my game style a lot,” he said. "Every time I line up against a receiver, my goal is to get my hands on him and be aggressive and physical. In football, you can't just sit back and wait for things to come to you. You have to be the aggressor.”

That type of play helped the former three-star recruit put together an impressive first season as a Tar Heel.  

Duck began the 2019 campaign as a reserve corner, but was forced into action during the team’s opener against South Carolina when sophomore Trey Morrison went down with an injury early in the first quarter.  

The first-year held his own until suspended senior Patrice Rene was able to enter the game in the second half. 

Duck made appearances in the next three games, but only recorded two solo tackles. But injuries put him on the field once again and he was pushed into the starting lineup against Clemson, who came into the matchup ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation. 

He went on to start the remaining eight games, finishing with 37 tackles and two interceptions for the year. 

Duck capped off his season with a start in the 2020 Military Bowl, making one of the most important plays of the game. Viewers watched an ESPN commentator call the then first-year defensive back “one of the great ducks of all time” as he turned an interception into a touchdown.



He is now likely slated to start as cornerback for the Tar Heels in the opening game against Syracuse. The sophomore came into camp ready to take another step forward.

Duck said he has worked hard to prepare for the season, getting reps in against the first-team wide receivers.

“Those guys make you better because they are one of the best receiving groups in the country,” Duck said in a press conference on Tuesday.

With more experience on the field, his confidence could continue to grow as he is poised to take another big leap in his second year in Chapel Hill. 

“I feel like I come out there every day and make plays and be the best teammate and best person I can be,” Duck said. “You gotta make the plays on the field and my name comes after that.” 

@ryanheller23

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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