FRESNO, Calif — Just days after the Mountain West Conference announced that fall sports would be postponed due to COVID-19, Fresno State star senior linebacker Justin Rice announced on Twitter that he’ll be transferring.
Justin Rice posted:
“Dear friends and family of Fresno State Football. Being a Bulldog has been a tremendous honor and experience for me. I have gained invaluable life lessons both on the football field and in the classroom. Unfortunately due to COVID-19, the college football landscape has been turned upside down. Because of this, and after many conversations with family and coaches, I have decided to forego my senior season at Fresno State and enter the transfer portal as a graduate transfer student. This is, and was, not an easy decision for me. First and foremost, I would like to thank Coach DeBoer and Coach Inge for believing in me and helping my development as a person and a football player. Lastly, I would like to thank every other coach, teammate, and Fresno State fan and supporter who has been alongside me on my journey so far. I am so grateful for the opportunity given to me to play football for Fresno State, but I am also grateful to be able to chase my dreams by having the opportunity to play football this fall.”
Rice was named the Preseason Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year. Last season, he was named First Team All-Conference and led the Bulldogs in total tackles with 112.
Meanwhile, Fresno State head football coach Kalen DeBoer sent out a statement on Rice’s decision:
“We appreciate everything Justin did for Bulldog football during his time here. We support his decision and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
As of right now, the Power Five has three conferences that are still planning to play this fall, the SEC, Big 12 and the ACC.
Rice will be eligible immediately since he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology.