Eufaula entered the season ranked the No.1 team in Class 5A and matched up against Dothan, a Class 6A squad.
"Overall I was disappointed in my play," said Rice. "I had about eight or nine tackles though. I would probably improve on my overall hustle."
Rice is regarded as one of the top players in the state of Alabama. At 6-3, 205 pounds, and boasting 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Rice tallied 87 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks, two fumble recoveries and three interceptions as a junior. His stellar play led to early scholarship offers from NC State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Central Florida, UAB, South Alabama, Southern Miss, and Troy among others. Most are recruiting him as an outside linebacker, but some schools view him as a safety or wide receiver.
"I've been playing some quarterback too," said Rice. "It's mainly still the same though. Some like me at wide reciever but most want me to play linebacker or safety... on the defensive side of the ball."
The contact period has started and Rice is already hearing from a host of programs. Currently three stick out and two appear to be recruiting him the hardest.
"I really like NC State, Central Florida, and Vanderbilt," Rice said. "I think NC State and Vanderbilt are recruiting me the hardest. I talked to both of their head coaches this week."
NC State head coach Tom O'Brien made the Wolfpack's first call to the three-star weakside linebacker.
"I talked to head coach O'Brien a few days ago, and he was telling me that I was pretty much at the top of their recruiting list," said Rice. "They really want to get me up there. We've been talking about it and we've pretty much set up up my official with them. It looks like it will be here in a few weeks when they play Boston College. That's the plan right now."
Recruiting Rice for NC State is linebackers coach Andy McCollum.
"I really like coach McCollum a lot," said Rice. "He's real cool, and I can tell he wants me to go there and play for him."
Rice has also been watching college football games. Both NC State and Vanderbilt opened their seasons with Thursday night games on national televison. He was really impressed with Vandy's win over SEC rival South Carolina.
"I watched that game," he said. "They were great. I was impressed with how they played. That really moved Vanderbilt up with me."
What did he think of the Wolfpack's season opener at South Carolina?
"Early on they were holding their ground, and I think when the quarterback went down they lost their mentality," said Rice. "I pretty much understand where they are coming from because our quarterback went down, and I know how we felt... I know how that impacted us.
"I watched their defense and they played well, but it looked like their linebackers couldn't get to the outside on all of the plays. Depending on how big I get in between this year and next I think I could go in there and play my first year if I went to NC State."
With a visit to NC State tentatively scheduled for October 3rd, Rice said he's unsure if he will take anymore official visits before announcing his college decision. Rice has already visited Central Florida and Vanderbilt unofficially, but he hasn't tripped to NC State.
"The only one I know for sure is NC State," said Rice. "I don't know if I'd go to the others for official visits because I've already been there. I'm thinking I could have a decision as early as after I take my official visit to NC State. I could have a decision then."
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