A touted member of a Duke football recruiting class a couple of years ago has found a new home. And at a lower rung on the collegiate ladder.
In May, it was confirmed that Tahj Rice took the first step in leaving Duke football by entering the NCAA transfer database. On Twitter this past week, Rice announced that he has committed to Eastern Kentucky. And he’s changing his surname for good measure.
“Thank you Duke for the moments and memories it won’t be forgotten,” the defensive tackle wrote. “I’m excited to say I’ve transferred to @ekusports and I’ve decided to change my last name to Mcclung because it’s LONG [overdue].”
According to his official Duke bio, Rice is the son of Iana and Marcus McClung.
As Eastern Kentucky plays at the FCS level, Rice/McClung will be eligible to play immediately in 2020. He’ll have another seaosn he can use in 2021 as well.
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.
Rice is one of at least five Duke football players ( the others are HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE) who have left the Blue Devils since the calendar flipped from 2019 to 2020.