Height: 5-8 Weight: 206 Age: 29
Born: 1/22/1987 New Rochelle , NY
Selected By: Baltimore Ravens
Pick (Overall): 24 (55)
The all-time leading rusher at Rutgers with 4,926 yards and 49 touchdowns on 910 carries, Rice might be short, but he proved to be the "big man on campus" in three seasons in Piscataway.
Before his Scarlet Knights' career came to an end, Rice became the first player in the 138-year history of the football program to rush for over 1,000 yards in three seasons.
"Ray Rice is not your normal guy. He is 5-9, 195 pounds and he is a very, very well-conditioned young man. He trains incredibly hard so he can do this," said Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano.
What makes Rice tough is that he runs behind his pads very well, showing the strength to consistently break tackles, uncommon for a back of his size. He is a tireless worker in practice. He greatly improved his receiving skills prior to the 2007 season, upgrading an area of his game that pro scouts felt was one of his weaknesses..
At New Rochelle High School, Rice was named to Madison Square Garden's All-Heisman Team. He was rated the 19th-best all-purpose back in the country by Rivals.com and the seventh-best player in New York by Scout.com. The All-State first-team choice added team Offensive Most Valuable Player honors as a senior and was also selected Game MVP in the Class AA championship game.
Rice rushed for 122 yards, leading New York to victory in the 2005 Governor's Bowl. During the 2004 season, he carried 112 times for 1,192 yards (10.6-yard average) and 31 touchdowns, caught 10 passes for 302 yards and five scores on offense and recorded 44 tackles with four sacks and two interceptions as a defensive back. He returned seven punts for 83 yards and four kickoffs for 276 yards (53.5-yard average), as he also kicked, converting 39 extra points and two field goals (long of 31 yards).
As a junior, Rice totaled 1,332 yards and 21 scores on the ground. In the season opener vs. White Plains High, he gained 105 yards on just four carries. He also excelled on the basketball team, starting at point guard. He led the team to the state finals in 2003-2004. He graduated with a 3.7 GPA.
Rice enrolled at Rutgers in 2005, turning down scholarship offers from Arizona State, Penn State and Syracuse. Rice earned Freshman All-American honors as he totaled 1,120 yards and five touchdowns on 195 carries (5.7-yard average) and 1,185 all-purpose yards, despite starting just five of 12 games that year. His 1,120 yards set a school freshman record and he was the team's first 1,000-yard rusher since 1994.
In 2006, Rice was a consensus All-American second-team choice, adding All-Big East Conference first-team honors. The Maxwell Award finalist became the third player ion school history to produce back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, as he ranked third in the nation with 1,794 yards on 335 attempts (5.4-yard average) and finished fifth nationally with 20 touchdowns on the ground.
That year, he piled up 1,824 all-purpose yards, despite being limited by a left ankle sprain the final month of the regular season, earning him The Daily Targum's Male Athlete of the Year. "Our success in our season came due to hard work," Rice said. "I couldn't have done what I did without my teammates, without my fellow teammate Brian Leonard and my offensive line."
As a junior, Rice became the school's first three-time 1,000-yard rusher. The second-team All-American selection and Maxwell Award finalist finished third nationally with 380 carries for 2,012 yards (5.3-yard average) and 24 touchdowns, becoming the Big East's first 2,000-yard rusher. He showed improved receiving skills, catching 25 passes for 239 yards (9.6-yard average) and a score. He ranked fifth in the country in scoring with a school record 150 points and generated 2,251 all-purpose yards, the 11th-best total in the major college ranks.
Rice decided to leave Rutgers University and enter the 2008 NFL Draft.
In 38 games at Rutgers, Rice started 37 times. He holds the school career marks with 910 attempts for 4,926 yards (5.41-yard average), 49 touchdowns and a long run of 90 yards. He made 37 catches for 334 yards (9.0 avg) and a score, setting another school record by piling up 300 points. He recorded five tackles (four solo) and amassed 5,260 all-purpose yards, an average of 138.42 yards per game.