Scott Walstrom | NIU Athletics
DeKALB — NIU football lost two more players to the NCAA transfer portal following its 2021 campaign that ended in a Mid-American Conference title.
COVID-freshman running back Jay Ducker and redshirt junior defensive back Dillon Thomas have entered the transfer portal this week, just days after NIU’s loss to the Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers in the Tailgreeter Cure Bowl on Friday.
Freshman of the Year on the move
After rushing for 146 yards against Coastal Carolina Friday, Ducker has decided to seek other opportunities, according to Max Olson of the Athletic.
Coming in from Bellevue, Nebraska, Ducker spent the entirety of 2020 sidelined with an injury sustained in the preseason. Ducker began a breakout 2021 campaign following an injury to freshman running back Harrison Waylee against Eastern Michigan University on Oct. 3.
Ducker rushed for 1,184 yards and three touchdowns on 218 carries in 2021, earning him Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year honors.
Defensive veteran plans to finish elsewhere
Thomas took to Twitter Saturday to announce his intent to transfer as a graduate transfer.
In five years as a Huskie, Thomas amassed 119 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions. The Kansas City native will have one year of eligibility remaining going into the 2022 season.
Thank you, Huskie Nation 🐾❤️🔥 pic.twitter.com/rI68AhoXWo
— Dillon Thomas (@DT__XIV) December 18, 2021
Ducker and Thomas will join junior running back Erin Collins and sophomore quarterback Ryan Yost in the transfer portal as they look to depart from NIU.