Besides Vanderbilt Trice had offers from Temple, Ball State, Kansas State and Tulane. He had already made visits to Temple and Ball State, and had plans to visit Kansas State and Tulane the next two weeks. After seeing what the Commodores had to offer, however, he decided there was no reason to continue holding out.
"It was getting down to the end," he said. "I wanted to go ahead and make my decision. It's a great school, and they play in the SEC. They're planning to be one of the top contenders in the SEC."
Trice (6-3, 210, 4.6), who will be a candidate next fall for Kelechi Ohanaja's former spot at free safety, was a 'tweener at Fork Union who played several different positions in the secondary.
"I played free safety and nickel blitzer (rover back)," Trice said. "I had a lot of sacks. I love making the big hit. At my size I can come up and play a little linebacker too, and I know how to cover. I played some tight end too."
For Coach John Shuman, he also served as the team's "designated kick-blocker."
"I blocked one punt this year and two field goals," Trice said. "With my size, I was good at sticking my hand up there. The coaches worked with me on my timing, on reading the other team's cadence and timing my leap."
At Orange County (Va.) High School Trice turned in a stellar senior season, with 81 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 interception, 2 blocked punts, 5 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles and 1 defensive touchdown. For his efforts he was named the Group II defensive player of the year in 2004.
Trice, who was also a standout basketball player at Orange County, had dreams of attracting a Division I-A football scholarship, but found that his options were limited. "I couldn't get into the schools I wanted to because of my grades," he said.
Fork Union, one of the top preparatory schools in the region (not to mention a hotbed of football talent) afforded him an opportunity to improve his grades, not to mention gain exposure to several of the country's top college football programs. Obviously the move paid off, as he is now headed to one of the country's top academic universities (Vanderbilt).
Trice is the third Fork Union post-graduate player in three years to cast his lot with Vandy (defensive linemen Gabe Hall and David Carter are the others). Assistant coach Jamie Bryant had been recruiting Trice for the Commodore secondary.
Vanderbilt had two other uncommitted official visitors on campus this weekend, but neither made commitments. Safety Myron Lewis (6-2, 195, Pompano Beach, Fla.) plans to make visits to Central Florida and Duke before deciding. He also holds offers from Iowa State and Northwestern. Tight end / offensive lineman Jack Shields (6-5, 250, Boston) should have a decision after next weekend, when he visits Virginia.
National signing day is Feb. 1. To see an up-to-date list of Vanderbilt's commitments, click here.