Rice planning visits

The three service academies are each making a strong push for Josh Rice, a 6-foot-1, 280-pound offensive lineman out of Lake Nona High School in the Orlando area. Rice took an unofficial visit to Colorado Springs during the summer and is looking to set up official visits to Army and Navy after the conclusion of his season.

"Air Force was the first to come in with an offer," Rice told GoMids.com. "Army's offer came at the very end of my junior school year. Navy's offer came in a couple of weeks after Army's. I've kept in touch with each of them. I have scheduled times I speak with Coach Mitjans of Army. Coach Davis [of Navy] and I talk with all the time on Twitter. And I actually just got off the phone with Coach Miller at Air Force.

"Besides receiving a world class education, I've always been interested in the opportunity to serve my country. I've always admired servicemen for their loyalty, the way they carry themselves, and the discipline they display in their lives. It's a very cool thing. Both Army and Navy have talked to me about talking the official visit in January. That's when I'm estimating the visit and freeing my schedule up.

"I've absolutely been watching all three teams play this year and I've been very impressed. The triple option attack, I feel, would be a good fit for me. I may not be the tallest, but I'll be the strongest and will be able to move the bigger guys out of the way quickly."

In addition to Air Force, Rice took campus visits to Charleston Southern, his first offer, Gardner-Webb, Mercer, and Presbyterian. When it comes to selecting the right college, Rice says he wants teammates he knows he can count on.

"The educational aspect is definitely important," he said. "I'd like to play alongside guys who present themselves with the highest esteem. I want to be able to look over at my teammate and have him look back at me with an understanding that we're going to fight until we can't fight anymore. When I first began the recruiting process I did want to stay in Florida, but now I think I'm pretty sure I'll end up going out of state for college."

Lake Nona is 5-1 this season. It's a team with multiple D-1 players like Tucker Isreal, who committed to Clemson in February, Mehdi El Attrach, who committed to Boston College, and Deondre Farrier, who has been offered by the likes of Florida, Miami, and USC. Although he began his high school career at defensive tackle, Rice has become a staple of the offensive line alternating between left guard and center.

"Our next game is with Osceola," said Rice. "It's pretty much for the district championship. This year has been going nicely for us. I feel like I'm better in my ability to get downfield and taking on the second level. I keep my eyes open out there for that linebacker coming in late which has help create better opportunities for my quarterback."

Both of Rice's parents attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. His father, Barry Rice, played offensive line at Liberty and later coached there.

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