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Texas S John Bonney and CB Eric Cuffee announce intentions to transfer

Fierce competition among the defensive backs for playing time resulted in two departures.

NCAA Football: Texas at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Following a preseason practice on Tuesday, Texas Longhorns defensive backs John Bonney and Eric Cuffee announced their intentions to transfer, the school revealed in a release.

Bonney was competing for playing time at the crowded safety position, but seemingly fell behind true freshman Caden Sterns (a composite five-star recruit) in the battle to replace 2017 Jim Thorpe Award finalist and current Baltimore Ravens rookie DeShon Elliott. He signed with Texas as a member of the 2014 recruiting class out of Houston Lamar and was a composite four-star recruit. The 6’0, 188-pounder appeared in 37 games with 15 starts for the Longhorns over his career. Last season, he started against Baylor and Texas Tech following the suspension of Holton Hill, totaling 19 tackles, two fumble recoveries, and an interception.

“I would like to thank The University of Texas for giving me the opportunity to graduate and earn a bachelor’s degree,” Bonney said in a statement. “I’d like to thank Mack Brown for offering me a scholarship to be a student-athlete at such a great institution and Coach Charlie Strong and Vance Beford for taking me in and teaching me the game, as well as Coach Tom Herman, Craig Naivar and Yancy McKnight for helping me grow and develop not only as a football player but as a young man. I’d also like to thank our great fans for supporting us through good times and bad. I will cherish the relationships made with my teammates and the memories we shared on and off the field. I will forever be a Longhorn. God bless. Hook ‘Em!”

Bonney, a Corporate Communication major, graduated in December and will be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer. His departure leaves senior tight end Andrew Beck, senior wide receiver Jerrod Heard, and senior offensive lineman Patrick Vahe as the last remaining players on the Texas Longhorn football roster who committed to the program when Mack Brown was head coach.

Cuffee, a 6’0, 195-pounder, was a composite four-star cornerback recruit in the 2016 class from Waco High School. He redshirted during the 2016 season and then fell behind younger players in 2017, when he didn’t see the field. With another group of talented defensive backs now on campus, Cuffee did not have a clear path towards playing time.

“It was a long and well-thought out decision with family and friends, but I have decided to transfer from The University of Texas to give myself a better opportunity to reach my dreams and aspirations in life,” Cuffee said in a statement. “I want to thank Jason Washington, Coach Herman and Coach McKnight for giving me the tools, as well as critiquing me into becoming a better man on and off the field. I also want to thank all of my teammates for supporting me. I’m going to miss them, but I’ll be rooting for them as I go to compete at Trinity Valley Community College for the next four months to eventually lead me to my next home.”

After competing at Trinity Valley this fall, Cuffee will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.