Three-star Bel Air (Md.) John Caroll wide receiver Niko Rice checked out a Syracuse football spring practice Tuesday morning along with teammate Devin Darrington. Rice is a 6-foot-1 wide receiver with solid speed, and has the attention of many regional programs.
“The visit was a good insider on everything,” Rice said. “I didn’t know a lot about Syracuse other than the guy who trains me went there (Qadry Ismail). So it was really a good learning and bonding experience for me and the coaching staff.
“Showed me how practice goes down and they’re very high tempo throughout practice, which I loved. They really are looking at DMV (Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia) and I think with their stress on academics and football, it is a good overall school. Along with the added bonus of beautiful facilities.”
During Tuesday morning’s practice session, Rice was paying special attention to the Syracuse wide receivers. He was impressed by what he saw and thinks he can fit well into the system.
“Their wide receivers are very dynamic and can be put in the slot or outside,” Rice said. “I think that makes them special. I most definitely think their grand scheme fits into my game play.”
Regarding former Syracuse star and Super Bowl Champion receiver Qadry Ismail, Rice said he is one of several coaches at the Arena Club within the program of which he is a part.
“We have been doing that for some time now,” he said. “I have put on weight to get a little more muscle on. He does not try to sway me any which way. He is a very good mentor for me to look up to.”
Rice said nearly all of the coaching staff spoke to him before and after practice. It helped him get to know them on a more personal level. He is impressed with their vision for the Syracuse program and says they encouraged him to attend a camp this summer.
“I most likely will,” Rice said. “If they’re truly interested then yes I will. I will show them Niko Rice.”
The three-star wideout added that Syracuse is a very well rounded university.