Rice the Answer at LB?

The Tigers are in hot pursuit with several prospects at linebacker this year, but the Palmetto State's own Curtis Rice could be the sleeper that helps give Clemson the edge in the in-state recruiting war this year.

Curtis Rice is an active player out of Union, South Carolina that is still heavily involved in his last season as a high school football player. His team, the Union Yellow Jackets, will take on Lugoff-Elgin for the upper state championship in South Carolina this evening at 7:30 PM.

LB Curtis Rice has 82 tackles, 25 quarterback pressures, 24 tackles for a loss, 9 sacks and one interception this year for Union.
Rice, who is mainly being recruited as a linebacker, has 82 tackles, 25 quarterback pressures, 24 tackles for a loss, 9 sacks and one interception on the year. He also has seen action at running back, registering 22 rushes for 191 yards and 5 touchdowns. As a junior, Rice recorded 79 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 fumble recovery and 4 interceptions.

In terms of recruiting, the Tigers have been in pursuit for quite some time, even though a formal scholarship offer still isn't on the table. Recruiting coordinator Rick Stockstill has been in touch with Rice weekly and a offer is likely on the way soon.

"Clemson, South Carolina and Middle Tennessee State have been calling and writing pretty much every week," said Rice. "But none of those schools have offered yet. I'd probably give Clemson the slight edge right now, but I'm keeping my options open."

"I'm looking for a coaching staff that I will be comfortable playing for and players that I can get along with," Rice added.

The standout linebacker also says that he'll set up his official visits after Union finishes their playoff run.

Rice is being recruited as a linebacker but he has also seen action at defensive end, running back and tight end this season for the Yellow Jackets. The 6-3, 209-pound senior is another linebacker that likely would be in the mold of current Tiger Eric Sampson.

He has the speed and size to become a difference maker at the Division I-A level, and he would be the perfect fit as the "whip" in John Lovett's defense.

Rice also stars as a basketball player for Union, where he has started since his freshman year. He was named All-Region as a sophomore on a team that went 25-6 and finished as State Runner-Up in 2001. He was voted All-Region and All-Area again this year as he helped lead the Yellow Jackets to a 27-4 and the championship game of the playoffs.

In speaking to one of the Union assistant coaches earlier this week, he had the following to say on Rice, "He is a D-1 caliber athlete, and can be a tremendous asset to a team, although it may not be immediate. His frame, strength, and above all...speed, is going to make him the most underrated impact player at whatever school he goes to. Rice is a kid that deserves a very long look from Clemson."

We will continue to keep you updated on LB Curtis Rice right up through signing day. Special thanks go to Eddie Adams, webmaster for one of the top high school sports web sites (http://www.unionyellowjackets.com) on the internet.

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