Rice Football will have to deal with some attrition in the secondary. Cornerback Tyrae Thornton has entered the Transfer Portal.
The projected two-deep for the Rice football defense looked pretty stout for Rice football entering the 2020 season. The Owls expected to return 20 of their top 22 players. That included 10 starters and 10 backups, losing only defensive tackle Myles Adams (to graduation) and linebacker Anthony Ekpe (to transfer).
Rice will have to fill at least one more spot before they take the field next. First reported by Chris Hummer of 247 Sports, projected starting corner Tyrae Thornton has entered the Transfer Portal. Thorton has since shared that post on social media. Thornton started 11 games for the Owls last season, leading the team with seven passes defended and leading all corners with 41 tackles.
Thornton was expected to contend with Andrew Bird for one of the starting corner spots opposite sophomore Tre’shon Devones. He was one of the more experienced defenders slated to return for Rice this season, and the only corner to have made multiple starts in each of the last two seasons.
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Several of the players behind him have game experience, but it will most likely fall to redshirt sophomores Bird and Jason White. Junior Miles McCord or one of a trio of incoming freshmen (Sean Fresch, Lamont Narcisse and Jordan Dunbar) might see more playing time than previously expected. The depth chart should clear up as the season nears.
A redshirt senior, Thornton will be a graduate transfer with one year of eligibility remaining wherever he lands. Moving on this late in the cycle further complicates a potential next step with most schools short on scholarships. The potential ramifications of the shortened/canceled season amid the COVID-19 pandemic could only complicate things further.
Read more on what the depth chart looks like behind Thornton in the 2020 Rice Football Season Preview.
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