Gophers running back ‘Bucky’ Irving enters NCAA transfer portal

Ky Thomas was the first Gophers running back to leave, transferring to Kansas in January.

Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Mar'Keise "Bucky" Irving runs in for a touchdown against Indiana on Nov. 20 in Bloomington, Indiana. The Gophers won 35-14.
Marc Lebryk / USA Today Sports

ST. PAUL -- The NCAA transfer portal continues to wreak havoc on the University of Minnesota Gophers football team’s running backs.

After his true freshman season, Mar’Keise “Bucky” Irving tweeted Friday that he will become the second Minnesota tailback to explore options at another school.

“I want to thank my coaches, teammates and the University of Minnesota, I have entered the transfer portal,” Irving tweeted.

Ky Thomas was the first Gophers running back to leave. The second-year player exited after being named offensive MVP of the Guaranteed Rate Bowl in late December; the Topeka, Kan., native settled at Kansas University in January.

Thomas rushed for a team-high 824 yards and six touchdowns in 2020, followed by Irving’s 699 and four scores. The youngsters stepped up when starter Mo Ibrahim ruptured his Achilles tendon in September and backup Trey Potts was lost for the season after being hospitalized for a week in October.


When the vote to build a new Arizona Coyotes rink in Tempe failed, a big piece of their future decided that NHL hockey can wait another year, and Logan Cooley announced his return to the U of M.
Jordan Howden and Terell Smith had early struggles at Minnesota but developed into pros
Mariano Sori-Marin and Thomas Rush are set to join the Gophers’ best-represented position in the pros
The Gophers football coach and Aggies basketball coach have forged a friendship over last decade. It has produced professional development for both
Running back Zach Evans and receivers Le’Meke Brockington and Elijah Spencer were top players Saturday.
The Richmond, Virginia, product had more than 30 scholarship offers, but picked the Gophers over his father’s alma mater
Guard from Wayzata led Minnesota in scoring last season with a 15.6-point average
Hot Mic with Dom Izzo from Wednesday, April 12th, 2023.
Kindred High School's Riley Sunram has one more prep football season next fall and fielded double-digit Division I offers before choosing Minnesota.
The Grand Forks Central grad gave up gymnastics and broke the North Dakota high school pole vault record in 2021. Now, he's putting up big numbers as a sophomore at the University of Minnesota

Neither Ibrahim nor Potts have been cleared for spring practices, head coach P.J. Fleck said in late March. Bryce Williams and true freshman Zach Evans are now atop the U’s depth chart at running back going into the spring game on April 30.

What To Read Next
Get Local