Korey Duff Jr. will be missed around St. Anthony’s, but he leaves a legacy that will not be forgotten.
The senior wide receiver capped off a storied high school football career with 51 receptions for 879 yards and nine touchdowns this fall. He is the Friars’ all-time leader in receptions, total yards and touchdown catches. Duff is committed to Rutgers, where he plans to enroll next semester after wrapping up his time as a high school student early.
Duff was honored with Newsday’s fourth annual Rich Reichert Award, which recognizes Long Island’s best player in the CHSFL, Wednesday morning at St. Anthony’s High School.
“It means a lot,” Duff said. “. . . Looking at the people who won it before me and just being a part of that elite group, being recognized as one of the best players on Long Island.”
Duff had 132 receptions for 2,695 yards and 26 receiving touchdowns in four years. He is the third straight Friar to win the award, with quarterback Dante Torres winning in 2022 and linebacker Andrew Bardak winning in 2021.
“It’s great,” St. Anthony’s coach Joe Minucci said. “He absolutely deserves it. He’s a super talented football player. He’s definitely, in my opinion . . . one of the best, if not the best, football player in New York state.”
Duff earned the opportunity to play right away as a freshman during the spring 2021 season. By the end of his junior season, Duff was named the offensive MVP of the Friars team that won the 2022 CHSFL AAA state title.
“Coming in as a freshman, getting that chance to play as a freshman, even like one of the first in history, coach Minucci believing in me, it just means a lot,” Duff said. “Playing with him, all those four years under him, and just playing for the history before me.”
Duff said he made the biggest strides with maturity over his career, assuming a team captain role and setting an example for some of the younger players.
“It’s like a dream come true in a sense because he is such a sincere, good person that his athletic ability is really great, but his manhood and his personhood are over the top,” said Brother David Migliorino, the principal of St. Anthony’s. “So you put the two together, it’s the perfect dream. He walks the walk, he talks the talk. He’s real.”
In addition to his strong receiving numbers, Duff also made an impact on special teams this season, taking eight kickoff returns for 326 yards and a touchdown. Recognized as a tight end by recruiting services, Duff is a four-star prospect and the No. 254 player and No. 14 tight end nationally, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
“He’s definitely going to go down as one of the all-time greats that we’ve had here, and we’ve had quite a few over the past, really, just in the 2000s alone,” Minucci said. “Between the Alex Fletchers, Matt Hahns, the Rob Welshes, the Scott Vallones — he puts himself right in that conversation being one of those top guys. And he just deserves everything that he’s gotten, and he’s certainly going to echo through the hallways here for the next few years until somehow, we find the next KJ Duff.”