Another WR named Rice

Their last name isn't the only similarity between South Carolina's Sidney Rice and former NFL star Jerry Rice. Like Jerry, Sidney is a wide receiver with a remarkable knack for beating defensive backs, getting open and making difficult catches look routine.

Tennessee fans remember Sidney Rice all too well. He burned the Vols for eight receptions, 112 yards and two touchdowns last fall as the Gamecocks dumped the Vols 16-15 at Neyland Stadium.

As a redshirt freshman in 2005, Rice led all Southeastern Conference pass catchers in receiving yards (1,143) and receiving touchdowns (13). He ranked third in total catches (70) and second in yards-per-catch average (16.3) among wideouts with at least 35 receptions.

Coming off that spectacular rookie campaign, Rice is rated the NCAA's No. 2 receiver for 2006 by Collegefootballnews.com. Only Southern Cal senior Dwayne Jarrett is rated ahead of him.

Here's what CFN.com has to say about Rice:

"Sidney Rice, Soph. South Carolina - 70 catches, 1,143 yds, 16.3 ypc, 13 TD

"The 6-3, 200-pound sophomore still needs some polish, but he's still one of the nation's top receivers and a top-flight pro prospect. He missed the opener with a broken finger, and then blew up as the team's main weapon with five 100-yard games in his final six highlighted by a brilliant 12-catch, 191-yard, one touchdown performance in the Independence Bowl loss to Missouri. The only question is his durability suffering a knee injury in 2004, the broken finger last year, and a thumb injury this season that kept him out of spring ball."

Tennessee gets another look at Rice Oct. 28 when the Vols visit South Carolina. Tennessee also will face four more players ranked among CFN.com's top 25 wideouts – California's DeSean Jackson (No. 14), LSU's Dwayne Bowe (No. 15), Vanderbilt's Earl Bennett (No. 21) and Florida's Dallas Baker (No. 23). Interestingly enough, Rice, Jackson and Bennett are mere sophomores.

Tennessee junior receiver Robert Meachem, though highly regarded in some circles, did not make CFN.com's top 25 list.


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