Calhoun, Ga.--A longtime Auburn commitment at a position of need for the Tigers, 6-5, 250 tight end Landon Rice made his official visit to the Plains over the weekend and left 100 percent committed. Spending a lot of time with Gus Malzahn and the rest of the coaching staff along with his family, Rice said it was a different side of Auburn he got to see and he enjoyed every second of it.
“It went really good,” Rice said. “It was real personable. I got a lot of time with the coaches, Coach Malzahn. I got to see a lot of things that I usually don't get to see because it was an official. I got to go to Coach Malzahn's house and eat with him.
“I spent a lot of time with him one-on-one just talking about the season and talking about the future,” he added. “The future is going to be real bright. Auburn, they're young right now and each game we're getting better and better and the future is going to be very bright.
“Me and him are both real excited and I'm excited to play with Sean (White). I got to spend time with him this weekend and everybody was just fired up. I love Auburn and it was a great weekend.”
Saying that he’s “locked-in” with Auburn following his trip, Rice plans to enroll in January and go through spring practice with the Tigers. With Auburn’s lack of tight ends and his ability to both catch and block, Rice said now all that’s left is finishing off his high school season in style.
“They said I've got to play my freshman year, they need me a lot,” Rice said. “I've just got to come in and work hard in the weight room and speed and agility and all that, and really just learning the playbook, I feel like that will be huge right there, just learning the playbook and feeling comfortable and just reacting instead of thinking about what I have to do.”
With the likelihood of playing as a true freshman for the Tigers, Rice should have the chance to catch passes from White down the road in Auburn’s offense. Watching the redshirt freshman quarterback tough it out on Saturday despite a very swollen knee, Rice said he has a ton of respect for his future teammate.
“You want to play for a guy like that as a leader,” Rice said. “He was banged up a little bit. He didn't have to go but he went and showed a lot to his teammates that he's got grit and he can work hard and push through the pain. That's big.”