Video: Rice will be a veteran next year

The So. bowling ball of a running back will be one of Rutgers Football's veteran leaders starting this winter, leading into the 2007 campaign. A very efficient runner, the collegian will have the baton transferred from backfield-mate Brian Leonard, as the Rutgers Football program will look to take the next step forward in its continued ascendancy to the top.

Raymell Rice started his career at Rutgers buried on the depth chart. But it didn't take very long for the skilled back from New Rochelle to earn the starting nod at TB. Indeed, it took the RU staff all of one summer practice season, his inaugural one, to anoint Rice as the man at TB, a position that RU had difficulty filling in previous years. Brian Leonard had more than admirably filled in at the spot, but since no man can play two positions at the same time, another needed to step forward - and Ray Rice did just that.

The Rutgers phenom went on to be named Freshman All-American by The Sporting News, and would finish as the fifth-leading true freshman runner in the nation with 1,120 yards. During his sophomore campaign, Rice entered the running for Heisman candidacy while carrying the ball 311 times for 1,624 yards, 19 touchdowns, good enough for a 5.3 average per rush. And it's precisely this tremendous efficiency, every time he touches the ball, that will make Rice such a coveted prospect for NFL squads after his Junior season is complete.

The Scout.com All-America Honoree will resume a leadership role now that backfield mate Brian Leonard is off to the League. Rice talked to the media about this and other subjects after the conclusion of the Scarlet Knight's first ever Bowl victory.

Matei may be reached at mgeorge@rutgersfootball.com


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