Virginia star Zach Rice is one of the nation's top blockers, and Notre Dame is making a hard push for the standout tackle.
ZACH RICE PROFILE
Hometown: Lynchburg, Va.
High School: Liberty Christian
IB Grade: 4.0 (Top 100 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 5.0
Offers: Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M, Texas, Oregon, USC, Penn State, Michigan, Miami (Fla.), Florida State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Pittsburgh, Kentucky, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Minnesota, Maryland, Arizona State, Duke, Georgia Tech, California, Rutgers, Kansas
Recruited By: Jeff Quinn
247Sports: 4-star - No. 12 overall - No. 1 OT
Rivals: 5-star - No. 17 overall - No. 3 OT
ESPN: 4-star - No. 77 overall - No. 12 OT
Composite: 5-star - No. 21 overall - No. 1 OT
If you're a team that wants to run the football then having players like Zach Rice on your offensive line is a must. Rice has yet to play his junior season, but even as a sophomore he showed impressive size, physicality and the ability to dominate in the run game.
Rice is a massive young blocker (6-6, 305) with an impressive build. He's not really a pudgy young lineman that needs a lot of work reshaping his body, Rice is just a thick all-around player. Rice has a wide frame with impressive arm length and a thick lower body. The Liberty Christian standout has very heavy hands, and he still doesn't know how to use them all that well. Considering how dominant he already is that has to be concerning for his future opponents.
Rice is a mauler at the prep level, and he certainly has all the skills to carry that over to the next level. Right now he dominates based on his size and natural power, but he needs to learn to keep his pads low and be quicker shooting his hands and using them as weapons. Right now he pushes high school opponents around, but he'll need to learn his hands more effectively to continue that in college.
Rice plays right tackle in high school and he projects there at the next level. He also has elite potential at guard, which gives him good positional flexibility. What will determine if he stays outside or moves inside is how he develops in pass protection. Rice has decent foot quickness for his size, and you see that when working in space in the run game and on the second level.
He is a bit of a waist bender right now, which slows down his change of direction a bit. If he can improve his flexibility and footwork he should be able to thrive on the edge on protection thanks to his length and power. If he can't, Rice could simply move inside and dominate as a guard.
5.0 - Elite player
4.5 - All-American caliber player
4.0 - Multi-year starter
3.5 - Key role player / Late career-starter
3.0 - Backup
Past Prospect Profiles
TE Jack Nickel - Notre Dame Commit
OL Joey Tanona - Notre Dame Commit
OL Ty Chan - Notre Dame Commit
DE Tyson Ford - Notre Dame Commit
DE Aiden Gobaira - Notre Dame Commit
LB Nolan Ziegler - Notre Dame Commit
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