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 Data Scout Notes: 2020: 1stC...Double Transfer from Arkansas State/Fresno State...BednarikSemifinalist...Transfer from Fresno State to Arkansas State…PDPOY/Pnagurski/Pbednarik…2019: 1stC…Wore #29 in '19. 1st team All-Mountain West w/112 TT, 8 TFL, 3 SCK, 2 INT, 8 PBU, 2 QBH, 2 FR/returned one for a TD, 4 FF, SAF in 12 gms in '19. Redshirted w/4 TT in 4 gms in '18. Backup w/9 in '10 gms in '17. Moved from RB to LB for '17. Wore #22 in '16. 9-11-1.2-0 rush, 2-15-7.5-0 rec in 1 st, 6 gms, missed 5 gms due to foot injury from fall camp in '16.

  , , Player News

  01/09/21 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  The Utah State Aggies on Saturday received a commitment from a third player who is following new head coach Blake Anderson to Logan from Arkansas State, but that's not the only connection linebacker Justin Rice will have to his new home. For the first few years of his collegiate career, Rice starred at Fresno State before transferring to ASU, meaning he'll be returning to the Mountain West Conference. How good was Rice at Fresno State? He garnered first team MWC honors in 2019 and was named the conference's preseason Defensive Player of the Year in 2020 before transferring late to Arkansas State when it appeared as though the MWC wouldn't play in the fall. Then in his lone season at Arkansas State, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Rice tallied 76 tackles, 18.5 of which went for a loss, which led the entire NCAA. - Deseret News

(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: Deseret News
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  12/22/20 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  2020 ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM: Justin Rice, Arkansas State, LB,...Leading the nation in tackles for loss (18.5), Rice is a Bednarik Award semifinalist and was on the Bronko Nagurski Watch List this season. He piled up 18.5 tackles for loss to go along with 76 tackles and 7.0 sacks. His tackles total included 57 solo stops that are tied for the fourth most in the country, while he ranks tied for 17th in total sacks. An East-West Shrine Bowl selection, Rice was named the Mountain West Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year before transferring to A-State from Fresno State. He made an immediate impact on A-State's defense as his 76 tackles not only led the team, but also rank eighth in the Sun Belt. - Arkansas State Football

(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: Arkansas State Football
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  12/08/20 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  2020 CHUCK BEDNARIK AWARD SEMIFINALIST: LB Justin Rice, Arkansas State,...The Red Wolves' first ever Bednarik Award semifinalist, Rice has piled up 18.5 tackles for loss this season to go along with 76 tackles and 7.0 sacks. His tackles total includes 57 solo stops that are tied for the second most in the country, while he ranks tied for 13th in total sacks. The Modesto, Calif., native was named the Mountain West Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year before transferring to A-State from Fresno State. He made an immediate impact on the Red Wolves' defense as his 76 tackles not only lead the team, but are the sixth most in the Sun Belt Conference.

He also needs just two more tackles for loss to tie the sixth most in league history. Rice has posted double-figure stops in three games this season and 11 times in his career, while also posting multiple tackles for loss in seven outings during 2020. He was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation's National Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 12 after recording 12 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks during the Red Wolves' 50-27 win over Central Arkansas. - Arkansas State Football


(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: Arkansas State Football
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  10/12/20 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  OCT 12 SUN BELT DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Justin Rice, Arkansas State,...Senior linebacker Justin Rice posted a season-high 12 tackles while also finishing Arkansas State's 50-27 victory over Central Arkansas with career-best totals for both tackles for loss (4.0) and sacks (3.0). Not only were Rice's 3.0 sacks the most by a Sun Belt Conference player this season, they tied the seventh most in A-State history for a single game. His 3.0 tackles for loss were also the most by a Sun Belt player this year. The Modesto, Calif, native has now posted at least 2.5 tackles for loss in each of A-State's last three games and his 9.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage for the entire year lead the Sun Belt. With his 3.0 sacks against the Bears, he also ran his season total to a Sun Belt-high 4.0 on the year. - Sun Belt Football

(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: Sun Belt Football
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  10/11/20 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  OCT 11 WALTER CAMP NATIONAL FBS DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JUSTIN RICE, ARKANSAS STATE, Senior, Linebacker, Modesto, CA/Modesto,...Justin Rice totaled 12 tackles, including four for losses, and three quarterback sacks as Arkansas State defeated Central Arkansas, 50-27. With the win, Arkansas State improved to 2-2. Notes: Justin Rice is the first Arkansas State player to earn Walter Camp National FBS Player of the Week honors, and the second from the Sun Belt this season (Louisiana LB Ferrod Gardner, Sept. 13). - The Walter Camp Football Foundation

(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: The Walter Camp Football Foundation
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  08/27/20 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  Justin Rice was in Albuquerque, N.M., when he received a call from SMU Coach Sonny Dykes and defensive coordinator Kevin Kane. Rice, a standout linebacker from Fresno State, was on his way to Jonesboro to play for Arkansas State University. Dykes and Kane were hoping to change his mind. "What do I do?" Rice asked his father, Jeff. " Do I make a turn and go south, or do I keep heading toward Arkansas?" The brief conversation kept Rice heading east, keeping the promise he made to Arkansas State. A day later, the Modesto, Calif., native found himself in Jonesboro joining his new teammates two weeks before their season opener. For Rice, the 2020 season might be the most important of his career. Picked as the preseason Mountain West Conference defensive player of the year, he's expected to be selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.

But after the Mountain West announced its decision Aug. 10 to postpone fall sports, Rice put his name in the transfer portal Aug. 14. Rice has received attention from dozens of schools, including multiple Big 12 programs, according to his dad. But Arkansas State offered two things that most other schools couldn't - a scholarship and the likelihood of immediate playing time. "Agents have told us he needs to play, and he needs to show that he's making progress while he's playing. So when the Mountain West shut down, we're like, OK, now what do we do?" Jeff Rice said. "Teams that are playing this fall are hot and heavy in fall camp. And every day that went by was going to put him in a worse spot to kind of be prepared for a season. So we kind of did two years of high school recruitment in a three-day period. And he made the decision about 24 hours before hitting the road down there." - Northwest Arkansas Times


(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  08/14/20 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  If Fresno State is able to play football in spring 2021, the Bulldogs will have to do so without their best defensive player. Senior linebacker Justin Rice - the preseason Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year - announced Friday that he is entering the transfer portal. Since Rice already graduated with a bachelor's degree in anthropology, he will be eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer. Considering Rice's performance last season - 112 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions to go along with a spot on the All-Mountain West First Team - he could be a prime target for a school in the ACC, Big 12 or SEC. - The San Joaquin Valley Sun

(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: The San Joaquin Valley Sun
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  07/26/20 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  2020 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST: LB Justin Rice, Fresno State,...Named to 2020 Bednarik Award preseason watch list...Named a 2019 All-Mountain West first team selection....Racked up 112 total tackles to lead Fresno State and rank third in the Mountain West in '19...Ranked fourth in the MW with 9.3 tackles per game; also good for 21st-most in the FBS in '19. - Fresno State Football

(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: Fresno State Football
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  07/23/20 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  2020 MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Justin Rice, Sr., LB, Fresno State,...Rice, who earned first-team all-conference honors in 2019, enters just his second full year on the defensive side of the ball. As a junior, the native of Modesto, California, racked up 112 tackles, including eight tackles for loss and three sacks. The 112 total tackles were the third-most in the MW last season. Rice also forced four fumbles, which were the fourth-most in the nation in 2019. Within the last week, Rice was named to the Bednarik Award and Bronko Nagurski Award Preseason Watch Lists, both honoring the national defensive player of the year. - Mountain West Football

(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: Mountain West Football
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  07/22/20 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  2020 PRESEASON BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: LB Justin Rice, Fresno State,...Named a 2019 All-Mountain West first team selection...Racked up 112 total tackles to lead Fresno State and rank third in the Mountain West in 2019...Ranked fourth in the MW with 9.3 tackles per game; also good for 21st-most in the FBS in 2019...He was one of 13 players in the FBS to force four fumbles or better, and one of three players to accomplish that feat playing in 12 games or less in 2019. - Fresno State Football

(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: Fresno State Football
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  07/13/20 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  Fresno State linebacker Justin Rice, a first-team all-Mountain West linebacker last season, is one of five players from the conference to be selected to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award. The senior from Modesto is the top returning tackler in the Mountain West, racking up 112 total tackles a year ago including 65 solo while also tied tor the conference lead with four forced fumbles. - Fresno Bee

(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: Fresno Bee
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  05/13/20 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  The California State University system - including Mountain West members Fresno State, San Diego State and San Jose State - will not hold in-person fall classes because of the coronavirus, calling into question what will happen with athletics. A repeated mantra among college sports administrators is that if students aren't on campus, sports won't take place. This could provide the first test of that stance as it threatens the football season, which drives revenue for NCAA athletics. In a statement Tuesday evening, the Colorado Springs-based Mountain West conference said further determinations are needed from public health and safety figures before any sweeping declarations are made regarding the fall sports season. "No decisions on athletics have been made," the statement said. Air Force football is scheduled to visit Fresno State on Sept. 26 and go to San Jose State on Oct. 10. - Colorado Springs Gazette

(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: Colorado Springs Gazette
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  12/14/19 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  2019 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FIRST TEAM (COACHES): LB - Justin Rice, Jr., Fresno State,...Racked up 112 total tackles (65 solo, 47 assisted) to lead Fresno State and rank third in the Mountain West...Ranked fourth in the Mountain West with 9.3 tackles per game; also good for 23rd-best in the FBS...Ranks second in the Mountain West with 5.4 solo tackles per game; tied for 18th-best in the FBS...Recorded double-digit tackles in eight of 12 games...Registered a career-best 13 tackles at Air Force...He was one of 12 players in the FBS to have forced at least four fumbles. He is forcing .33 fumbles per game which is tied for the fifth-highest frequency in the FBS...Was one of 25 players in the nation to have caused at least six turnovers. - Fresno State Football

(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: Fresno State Football
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  10/21/19 - ILB Justin RicerSr/2022, Utah State, 6-2, 225 (DS#14 ILB) + More +

  OCT 21/WEEK 8 MOUNTAIN WEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: JUSTIN RICE, FRESNO STATE, Junior, Linebacker, Modesto, California/Central Catholic HS,...In Fresno State's Friday night victory over UNLV, recorded a game high 10 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery...Kicked off a 20-0 scoring run for the Bulldogs with an 18-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown with 3:58 left in the third quarter. This was Fresno State's first fumble return for a touchdown since Oct. 26, 2013...Was a key part of a Bulldog defensive unit that forced five turnovers in a game for the first time since Oct. 5, 2013 at Idaho. - Mountain West Football

(DS#14 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Justin RiceUtah State
News Source: Mountain West Football
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