DECLO — The most explosive football player in the Magic Valley comes from a town of less than 400 people.
Duncan, a running back and safety for the Declo Hornets, wasn’t just the most dominant offensive threat in the Magic Valley, but in the entire state. He was named the All-Idaho 2A player of the year and the USA TODAY Idaho offensive player of the year.
Opponents set up entire gameplans centered on stopping his lethal rushing, but they were never enough. Duncan decimated teams in the open field, finishing the year with 2,843 rushing yards — 219 yards per game, on average.
Add that to the 952 other all-purpose yards and the 42 total touchdowns he scored, and it’s no wonder why he’s getting so much attention.
But don’t ask Duncan about his stats during the season because Declo head coach Kelly Kidd makes sure that isn’t how his leading rusher thinks.
“(Kidd) never shares his stats with us,” Duncan said. “I have to wait until after the season to learn about how I did, which doesn’t bother me much. As long as I’m winning, I’m happy.”
Behind it’s star running back’s performance, Declo did that all season long, going 13-0 and winning the state title with a 47-6 blowout of Firth.
Duncan, a junior, has drawn looks from Division I teams, including Idaho State, Boise State and Stanford. Early on in his football career, he wasn’t so sure he’d be seen at a small school like Declo.
“I considered switching schools to go to a bigger school,” Duncan said. “I was always told that you’ll never get recruited at a 2A school, but that’s not true. You get one or two coaches’ attention, then you get five or so. They talk, so it’s not like I have to constantly be out there for them to see me.”
Though Duncan said basketball was his favorite sport growing up, some of his earliest heroes were the boys from Declo he grew up watching on the gridiron, just like every kid his age did.
“We always went to the games, and we thought the varsity players were the coolest kids,” he said. “They were the ones we looked up to and wanted to be like.”
Duncan became one of those players quickly, as he was pulled up to varsity his freshman year.
“That got me liking the game even more, and I just decided I have the size and talent if I want it bad enough,” he said.
He’s not just a great football player. Currently, he’s one of the leading scorers for the Hornets’ basketball team, and he was a 2A state-champion sprinter last year in the 100-meter dash (11.14 seconds) and 200 (22.45).
Duncan said he’s carried his mentality in short-distance running over to football, and it’s helped fuel his breakaway speed.
“In sprints, you have to run faster than other guy,” he said. “When you get that mentality, I think it helps push you to be faster and faster, because you want to beat the other guy.”
He has one more year with the Hornets in football, and after that, he’s unsure of the next step. Duncan is rooted in his LDS church and said a mission is on the radar alongside football.
“I’ve always wanted to serve a mission, even as a little kid,” he said. “That’ll be something I’ll talk with coaches about.”
For now, his focus in football is on keeping himself conditioned and looking forward to a chance to defend Declo’s state title.
“I’ve got to put in a lot of offseason work,” he said. “Same as last offseason.”