2022 DB Rice on the rise, earns UM offer

2022 DB Rice on the rise, earns UM offer

Stefan Adams
2022 Dunbar (FL) S Avian Rice got in touch with the Miami Hurricanes for the first time last week, getting on a phone call with strikers/special teams coach Jonathan Patke and learning he had earned an offer from UM.

“We were just talking about football and he was just making sure I was good,” Rice said of Patke. “Before he hung up, he told me they wanted me to know I had an offer. It was my first big offer, so it felt real good to get Miami.”

Rice plays both receiver and DB at Dunbar, but Patke let him know Miami sees him on the defensive side of the ball at safety or striker, an arrangement Rice would prefer as well.

“I just feel like I’m a better defensive player,” Rice said. “I like being on the defensive side, I like to talk trash. I like making big hits, big plays.”

Patke’s pitch centered around Rice’s fit in UM’s scheme, as well as the strong tradition of safeties that Miami has produced over the years.

“[Patke] told me about the defense and how I would be a good fit, told me all the coaches had seen my film and liked it, even the DB coach,” Rice said. “He told me how all the best safeties have come from Miami, Sean Taylor and Ed Reed.”

While Rice has already been on Miami’s campus in the past, he hopes to make a return trip to Coral Gables when the NCAA dead period ends in April.

“I went there my freshman year for a camp day, my team did the 7-on-7 tournament,” Rice said. “I didn’t get to see much of the campus, but I took a picture in the jersey and everything. I’m supposed to be coming on a visit to Miami when they let us in April, coach Patke was inviting me.”

What interests Rice in possibly playing his college ball at Miami?

“It’s just a great vibe there. I’m a Florida boy, so that’s a plus too,” Rice said. “The defense, the players are great. The Turnover Chain, that would be exciting to get when I get my first defensive stop for Miami.”

In terms of other programs coming after him, the 6’1” 200 pound prospect has also earned offers from Louisville and Marshall, while he has recently been gaining interest from Wake Forest, Florida State, and USF.

“I was planning on committing sometime during the football season, probably like midway through,” Rice said. “It’s really about looking for the right vibe of the school, the bond between the players and the coaches.”

Before he starts narrowing down his list, though, Rice hopes to expand his options over the offseason and has a plan in place to get more looks from colleges over the coming months.

“I’m going to keep doing more camps, I’m going to be working out with some top DB’s and improving my craft,” Rice said. “I’m going to be working on a lot – I’m going to be working in the weight room to make sure I keep getting stronger, working on my craft, and working on my speed, running track type of stuff.”

As a junior at Dunbar in 2020, Rice recorded 77 tackles, 5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 INT, a PBU, and 3 FF for the 8-3 Tigers, while also posting a TD catch on offense.

“I performed better this year as a junior, my tackling got a lot better,” Rice said. “I can’t even lie, my sophomore year, I was hitting legs because I was smaller. But now I gained some weight and got bigger, so I feel more confident in my hitting abilities. I started hitting high, started making big plays.”


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