"My decision could probably come as soon as I get back from the NC State visit," said Rice. "That's probably the earliest. Most likely I won't commit to NC State on my visit, but I'm not going to say it's impossible."
Rice is regarded as one of the top players in the state of Alabama and the southeastern part of the country. At 6-3, 200 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 colleges are recruiting him as an outside linebacker, but some schools view him as a safety or wide receiver.
"I'm not sure where I'll play in college," said Rice. "Most of them are looking at me as a safety or linebacker... on the defensive side."
NC State has made a push for his services. Last Friday, NC State linebackers coach Andy McCollum flew to Alabama to watch Rice's game. With the Wolfpack playing a noon game the next day against Boston College, that visit left an impression on Rice.
"That was big to me," said Rice. "Coach McCollum makes me feel wanted. They had a game on Saturday, and he flew in on Friday just to see me. He could have went to see other players or someone near the school, but he flew in to see me even though he had a big game the next day. It was a big game for them too against Boston College, the team coach O'Brien used to coach.
"Coach McCollum has been saying I'm going to really like my visit. He was saying how they are recruiting me to play linebacker and safety. He said that next year I'd be in a battle for the safety spot because they may need that more next year, but as I get bigger I'd probably move to linebacker."
Joining Rice in Raleigh will be his mother and two sisters.
"I know my mom and sisters are going up for the visit too," he said. "They are ready for it. My mom likes coach McCollum and NC State a lot. I think she can't wait to get up there and see the campus."
Currently three programs stick out with two recruiting Rice the hardest.
"I'll probably say the schools up there the most are Vanderbilt, NC State, and Ole Miss," he said. "NC State is pretty much the only school I haven't visited yet. At Ole Miss, I got to see the campus, but I didn't get a feel for the atmosphere. I might go back for another visit but seeing the coaches were enough because I know coach Nutt is a player's coach.
"Vanderbilt and NC State are probably recruiting me the hardest, but I'd probably give NC State the slight lead because I've talked to their head coach the most."
Rated a three-star prospect and the No. 25 weakside linebacker in the country by Scout.com, Rice sports a 3.89 GPA and is already academically qualified.
"Yes sir, I'm good to go with my grades," he said. "I'm leaning now towards majoring in Engineering in college. Most of the schools I'm looking at have Engineering."
Entering the final stages of his recruitment, does Rice have a leader?
"I wouldn't say I have a leader, but I think this visit will determine my true leader," he said. "Right now I'm optimistic... I just haven't visited all the schools. I think distance is going to probably play a little bit in it, but as long as I'm comfortable that is the biggest thing. Pretty much all of the schools I'm considering are pretty far away... Central Florida's probably the closest... every other school is kind of far away."
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