While scholarship athletes make up the bulk of any college program it's a team's walk-on program that can change the direction a programs heads towards as those who missed out on getting a full scholarship fight to find their place on the field.
At the University of Cincinnati the walk-on program has provided several top players that have played key roles over the years and the Bearcats staff is hoping Taylor Rice of Dublin Scioto High School will be another to join those who have helped the program win many games.
Rice who had received preferred walk-on offers from Ohio State and Cincinnati told Bearcat Insider he'll be a Bearcat when it's time for the team to report for camp.
"After looking everything over I feel Cincinnati is the right place for me," said the athlete with 4.5 speed. "I looked everything over and feel I'll have a better chance to play and be part of the team."
Just like those who signed National Letters of Intent to receive full scholarships college programs recruit those players that make up the rest of their roster and Bearcats running back coach Tim Hinton played a key role in getting Rice."
"Coach Hinton was the one who worked with me. I'm coming in as an athlete looking to find a place in the return game and where the coaches feel I'll help the team most."
During his senior season Rice recorded 35 catches for 537 yards and 7 touchdowns as a receiver. He also had 6 kick returns for 183 yards (30.5 average) and 18 punt returns (15.0 average) in only seven games. He also showed his skills with 7 pass breakups and 19 total tackles on defense.
Standing 5-foot-11, 175-pounds Rice will look to fill out his frame in college while keeping his 4.5 speed.