Move over, Katherine Webb. The college bowl system may produce yet another celebrity in Lindsey Duke, the model girlfriend of University of Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles.
In the hours before Bortles led his UCF Knights into a Fiesta Bowl matchup with the Baylor Bears, ESPN ran a segment that chronicled the quarterback’s rise to the top of the college football ranks. But it pointed out that Duke, a rising star in the modeling world, might be more famous than her boyfriend — a Google search for her name produces millions of pages, while a search for Bortles’ name produces just a few hundred thousand.
“Apparently she is more of a household name than I am,” a bemused Bortles told ESPN. “She’s more famous than me, and there’s nothing I can do about that.”
Being more famous than Bortles is no easy task, as the UCF quarterback is considered one of the top prospects in the coming 2014 NFL Draft, and will likely start in the league someday. But even George O’Leary, his head coach at Central Florida, has a hard time disagreeing with Duke’s fame.
“I would hope as a head coach that the [Google search] numbers would be reversed,” O’Leary told ESPN. But obviously you haven’t seen his girlfriend. She deserves 6 million Googles.”
Still, if he plays as well in the NFL as he did in the Fiesta Bowl, Bortles won’t be flying under the radar for much longer. The redshirt junior earned offensive MVP honors, throwing for 394 yards and contributing four touchdowns during UCF’s 52-48 victory.
Larry Brown Sports, a sports blog, was among the first sites to examine Duke’s relationship with Bortles. The couple has reportedly dated since high school, and currently attends the University of Central Florida together. Duke, 22, is slated to graduate in May.
Duke’s career as a model took off in August after she appeared on the cover of aXis Magazine. Larry Brown Sports obtained a video of her photo shoot for the magazine, which can be viewed here. She also has an ever-increasing Twitter fanbase; at press time, Duke had more than 7,000 followers on the social media website. Additional photos of Duke can be viewed here and here.