ECU lands 2014 OT Messiah Rice

Orangeburg Wilkinson High School (Orangeburg S.C.) offensive tackle Messiah Rice gives ECU a dozen commits for its 2014 recruiting class.

East Carolina landed its 12th commit for the 2014 recruiting class with Orangeburg Wilkinson High School (Orangeburg S.C.) offensive tackle Messiah Rice pledging to the Pirates yesterday August 28.

The 6-foot-7 inch, 260-pounder joins Kyle Erickson and Erik Lenzen as the trio of offensive lineman that have already committed.

Rice is confident in his decision and hopes to touch the field early on.

"I committed because I like the school," he said. "I've heard great things about the atmosphere as well. ECU is where I wanted to go, I feel like I have an opportunity to play and be on the field."

ECU special teams and running backs coach Kirk Doll initially offered him in March, but offensive line coach Brandon Jones should get the assist for completing Rice's recruitment.

"Coach Jones was my main recruiter," Rice said. "He came to practice, watched me play, and talked to me after. He let me know he was interested and wanted me to play at ECU. I also remember him saying I was his number one player and that he was excited to teach me."

Despite playing defensive and offensive line in high school, Rice is prepared to reserve his talents strictly for offense. He mentioned he will be at the left tackle position for the Pirates.

As his aforementioned weight and height listing indicates, Rice is among the largest players of the class. But with his senior year just getting underway, Rice has challenged himself to get much larger and has big plans before signing anywhere this winter.

"I want to lead my team this season," he said. "I plan on grinding and being the best I can be. I want to keep my work ethic up so I can prepare for the next level."

Aside from ECU, Rice had also received offers from both Appalachian State, UNC-Charlotte and Liberty. He is glad to have made his decision early on and is feeling the love from the Pirate Nation.

"Its feels great," Rice said. "I feel like I made the right decision and I have no regrets. I'm extremely confident in the decision."

Rice is the third commit in the 2014 class to pledge to ECU without visiting the school. He plans on attending ECU's home game against Virginia Tech on September 14.

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