Highest-rated signee in Duke’s 2018 recruiting class intends to transfer

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The offseason attrition for Duke football will seemingly continue.

Since the calendar flipped from 2019 to 2020, at least five Duke football players (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE) have left the Blue Devils.  All five of those have since found new college football homes.

Tuesday, a sixth is in need of a new home.  Probably.  247Sports.com confirmed this week that Tahj Rice has entered the NCAA transfer database.  The same website states that the defensive tackle “will not be returning to Duke.” That said…

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Rice was a four-star member of the Duke football Class of 2018.  The Louisville product was rated as the No. 15 strongside defensive end in the country.  He was also the No. 3 recruit regardless of position in the state of Kentucky.

Most notably, Rice was the highest-rated signee in the Blue Devils’ class that year.  In fact, he was the only four-star signee for Duke that cycle.

Rice played in 24 games the past two seasons.  He would’ve played in a 25th, but an appendectomy cost him an appearance in the 2018 Independence Bowl.

During his time with the Blue Devils, he was credited with 16 tackles, 2½ tackles for loss and 1½ sacks.

It’s likely that Rice will have to sit out the 2020 season if he were to move on to an FBS school.  That would leave him two years of eligibility starting in 2021.