What to expect from new Georgia Bulldog: 3 Star LB Monty Rice.
Georgia football has added twenty-six signees to the class of 2017. I will breakdown my thoughts on each signee and how I project them to contribute to Georgia. This week Monty Rice, Next week Nate McBride.
Monty Rice was a very sought after middle linebacker from Alabama coming in at 6’1 227lbs. Originally committing to Louisiana State University over Alabama and Georgia on December 12th, Rice then flipped to Georgia on January 2nd. Officially enrolled into the University of Georgia three days later.
Rice finished his high school career as an all-state linebacker, he was also selected as a second team all state linebacker in 2015. Rice finished ranked as a 3 star linebacker according to 247sports composite rankings.
Rice is not scared of coming down and hitting someone. He does a good job of taking on and getting off blocks. He has a nose for the ball, always finding a way to the ball carrier and delivering a punishing hit on him.
Rice is an outstanding athlete he is able to stay with a scrambling quarterback when put on a spy. He doesn’t stop and wait to attack, he just goes forward full steam ahead and punishes whoever gets in his way. He also does a good job of getting out into his zone on defense and reading the quarterbacks eyes and jumping the route.
The main concern here for Rice is going to be how he utilizes his size and speed and ability to hit against competition around the same size as him. Rice was just as big or bigger than a lot of the players he played against in high school including some offensive linemen. So will he be able to keep the same physicality against SEC offensive players.
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He also isn’t exactly the fastest person on the field. He won’t be a sideline to sideline linebacker at he next level. SEC offensive play-makers are going to be able to outrun Rice, so he will need to execute his technique perfectly.
Rice will have to take good angles and keep the ability to read the ball carrier and attacking immediately instead of waiting for the ball carrier to make a move. Rice is going to have to work on his speed, but he can still contribute very well to Georgia as a middle linebacker.
Expectations at Georgia:
Monty Rice has the chance to be a big time middle linebacker for Georgia. He compares very well to Reuben Foster in style of play and size. Rice and Foster aren’t the biggest guys on the football field size wise. Foster is faster than Rice is right now, but speed can be improved. But they both have similar skill sets and instincts when it comes to football.
If Rice develops to his highest potential he could be in the same realm as Foster was for Alabama. He has the fearlessness to attack the ball carrier with everything he got. Kirby should play Rice in the same role Foster played for the Alabama defense.