Duke football transfer commits to Eastern Kentucky University

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

A Duke football transfer has found a new home after transferring to Eastern Kentucky University.

Tahj Rice was Duke football’s highest ranked and rated commit in its 2018 recruiting class, but after announcing his intentions to transfer from the Blue Devils, the defensive end has a new home.

Rice announced on Twitter that he will be heading home to Eastern Kentucky University and will be changing his last name to McClung as it “was a long time coming.”

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The formerly known Rice is a Louisville, Kentucky native and spent two seasons in Durham after being ranked 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.

Rice struggled to find the field at Duke, and when he did, he couldn’t find the consistency to carve out a designated role with the Blue Devils.

The 6-foot-2, 320-pound defender played in 24 games in his two seasons at Duke, totaling 16 tackles and one and a half sacks.

Before his commitment to Duke, the Louisville Cardinals were very much in the race to land the services of Tahj Rice as were Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana, North Carolina State, Oregon, Purdue, Syracuse, Southern California, and Virginia Tech.

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Eastern Kentucky certainly wasn’t a finalist for the Waggener Traditional High School standout, but Tahj McClung will see much more playing time after he sits out for one season due to NCAA transfer rules and will still have two years of eligibility left.

The Colonels posted a 7-5 record last season but did not qualify for the FCS Playoffs and have not reached the postseason since 2014.

Duke fans will get the chance to see Tahj McCling on the field on September 4, 2021, when Eastern Kentucky travels to Western Carolina for the season opener before facing the Louisville Cardinals in Week 2 of the 2021 season.