DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke says versatile senior quarterback Brandon Connette is transferring closer to his home in California.
Coach David Cutcliffe made the announcement Thursday.
Connette's mother was diagnosed with cancer in December and he was granted a leave of absence from the team before its bowl game to be with her.
He says being away during her fight ''has been the most difficult thing I've ever had to endure,'' Cutcliffe says Connette is leaving with his blessing.
Connette is from Corona, Calif., and his brother Simon is a rising senior safety at San Jose State.
He was Duke's short-yardage specialist who rushed for a school-record 31 touchdowns in three seasons. He graduated in December and can play immediately.