Getting an offer from Coach Gus Malzahn and staff following an impressive camp performance in July, the 6-5, 250 Rice got in a full day on the Plains as he ate lunch downtown before heading to the campus to see the coaching staff and take in the second preseason practice. Taking in what Auburn has to offer, Rice said he loved everything about his return trip.
"I got to see practice and Coach Malzahn kind of put me in the playbook a little bit," Rice says. "I got to talk to some of the players and all of the coaches again. I got to see everybody once again and see all the facilities. I got a real home feeling. It was just a good day.
"I really like the town feel of Auburn," he adds. "It's not like a big town. It's a small town and that's what I like. You have the brand new facilities with the dorm and things like that. They said it's one of the best in the country. That's big."
With Auburn down to just a pair of true tight ends for this year's team and with a pair committed for the 2014 class, the offensive plan is an obvious one for Malzahn and company as the position will hold a vital role in the future for the Tigers. Because of that and the excitement of the offense Rice is interested in what AU has to offer.
"I liked the high tempo on offense," he says. "Everything is really fast. There is no jogging. You run on the field and off the field. If you jog you're going to pay for it after practice. You've got to commit. It's a really good offense."
"They were my first big-time offer coming from the SEC," Rice adds. "I'm real high on Auburn. The coaches are real personal with you and down to earth. I like that. I got to talk to a few of the players like Tyler Queen (2015 Auburn QB commitment) and we're making connections. I got to talk to some of the players and coaches also. Auburn right now is on top of my list. It's a big SEC offer and that's where I want to play is in the SEC. It's the best conference in the nation by far."