Top ranked Class of 2018 Duke football commit to transfer from program

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Duke football defensive tackle Tahj Rice (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)

The Duke football team is losing its highest-rated recruit in the Class of 2018, Tahj Rice, as the defensive tackle is transferring from the program.

Tahj Rice is making the decision to transfer from the Duke Blue Devils after two seasons with the program.

Rice was the highest-rated recruit to commit to the Blue Devils in the Class of 2018 as the No. 319 prospect, No. 15 defensive end, and No. 3 player in the state of Kentucky, according to the 247 Sports Composite Rankings.

The news of Rice's transfer was first reported by Rivals.

Tahj Rice led what was the No. 63 recruiting class in the nation and the No. 12 class in the ACC in 2018, according to 247 Sports.

The Louisville, Kentucky native played 24 games in his two seasons at Duke, totaling 16 tackles and one and a half sacks. However, Rice missed the 2018 Walk-On’s Independence Bowl against Temple after undergoing an appendectomy on December 24.

Rice recorded his first career sack against Wake Forest in 2018 and posted a career-high three tackles vs. Miami in the 2019 regular season finale, which would also be his final game as a member of the Blue Devils.

As a high school standout at Waggener Traditional, Tahj Rice's recruitment came down to Louisville and Duke, but the 6-foot-2, 320-pound prospect also held offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana, North Carolina State, Oregon, Purdue, Syracuse, Southern California, and Virginia Tech.

ALSO READ: Duke gets commitment from QB, adding to 2021 recruiting class

Rice will have to sit out for one season due to NCAA transfer rules while still having two seasons of eligibility left.

Whenever college football activities resume, Duke will still be extremely talented on the defensive line, returning stars Chris Rumph and Victor Dimukeje along with Elijah Brown, DeWayne Carter, and Ben Frye, despite losing seniors Edgar Cerenord and Trevon McSwain in addition to Rice.

ALSO READ: Duke enters loaded race for top-tier offensive lineman

Duke is still scheduled to open the season on September 5 against Middle Tennessee State at Wallace Wade Stadium.

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