Newport Harbor High senior Colin Duffy is a valedictorian. He's headed to Duke to play football as a long snapper. He's also a saxophone player and is a skipper on the sailing team, and an Eagle Scout.

Newport Harbor High senior Colin Duffy is a valedictorian. He's headed to Duke to play football as a long snapper. He's also a saxophone player and is a skipper on the sailing team, and an Eagle Scout. (Scott Smeltzer | Daily Pilot / June 18, 2014)

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There he goes again, from one place to the next. Colin Duffy always has something to do.

Free time? The gifted Newport Harbor High senior hardly has any.

Throughout the school year, Duffy has been seen working out with the football team, playing his saxophone with the school band, training with the NHHS sailing team, fulfilling his role as vice president of the Junior Statesmen of America club as well as president of the Teenage Republicans club and working as a boat valet at The Cannery in Newport Beach.

So when does this kid sleep?

"I still haven't figured that one out," Duffy said with a laugh, shortly after performing with his band mates at the school's jazz picnic on June 1. "Caffeine is my friend."

Jokes aside, Duffy uses certain values, which he said he acquired from his mother, Linda, and father, Tom, to attack each day with a strong passion and an unrelenting determination to "take advantage of opportunities."

That's a big reason why Duffy will graduate Thursday afternoon as a valedictorian on his way to Duke, where he'll be a preferred walk-on as a long snapper.

"I don't have free time," Duffy, 17, says. "And if I do have free time, I try to find something to do with that free time. I find myself to be rather efficient in that process."

When Duffy is at work, it's usually with his best effort. Several in the community attest to Duffy's strong work ethic and his ability to connect with others at different settings.

The high school social scene can be known for cliques. But Duffy doesn't have time for that.

FOOTBALL

Football keeps Duffy busy for sure. Long snapping can be something of an art form. Duffy uses his intelligence and attention to detail to do his best to master the snap, the spiral and the accuracy. There's actually more aspects than that.

Duffy enjoys it because he's always loved football even back to his playing days for Newport-Mesa Junior All-American.

That's where Karif Byrd came to know Duffy and fell in love with the boy that makes Byrd nearly cry because he's so impressed with Duffy's character.

"He's a smart kid," Byrd said, starting with a rather simple quality of Duffy's. "I would never get in a debate with him because he would kill me."

Byrd, a Corona del Mar High assistant football coach, works with several different types of athletes for Get It Done Sports, his intense strength and conditioning company that continues to grow. Byrd said his greatest respect of the athletes are those, "who work their butts off."

That's why Byrd holds Duffy in such high regard.

"I can go back the first time I met him," Byrd said. "I thought he was so unathletic that he struggled to even get out of the car. I don't say that to be mean, but to show how hard he has worked to become an athlete."

Byrd has teased Duffy about a story from Junior All-American football. One time, Byrd says, the Seahawks team scored a touchdown on a long pass. All the Newport-Mesa players on the field ran to the end zone to celebrate. But not Duffy. He stayed where he was and applauded.