Saturday, January 03, 2009

Rice catching on

Just watched the tape of the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl, held Friday at Coastal Carolina's Brooks Stadium in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and by my very unofficial stats, I had Jerry Rice Jr., who is on Yale's recruiting radar, with three catches for 10 yards. He also had a one-yard loss on a punt return.

At halftime his dad, future Hall of Famer Jerry Rice Sr. was interviewed for five minutes. I was hoping the subject of his son's recruitment would be a topic of conversation. That was not the case. The three-time Super Bowl winner with the San Francisco 49ers did allude to his son's situation which is that some Pac-10 teams have expressed interest in Rice Jr., a star on the Menlo School of Atherton, Calif. team, but the only scholarship offer came from Air Force. If a Pac-10 school like California, UCLA, Stanford or Arizona doesn't offer him a scholarship, there is a chance he could land at Yale.

"If he doesn't get an athletic scholarship, academics he is going to get something," Rice Sr. said.

The owner of pretty much every NFL receiving record predictably had high praise for his son even if the prospect of Rice Jr. playing football wasn't quite in his father's plans.

"To be honest, I didn't want him to play football but it was something he wanted to pursue and as parents you back him 100 percent. Jerry does a great job, he goes out there and gives everything 100 percent."

I don't know if Rice Jr. will end up at Yale. However, if I were a recruiter in the Pac-10 with an available scholarship for a receiver I think I'd take a chance of the son of arguably the greatest receiver in NFL history. Like I mentioned on a previous blog reporting about Rice Jr.'s visit to the Yale campus, if Derek Jeter were to have a son who was a solid high school shortstop and I were a college baseball coach, I'd be offering up a scholarship just in case the apple didn't fall too far from the tree. It's not like Rice Jr. was a marginal high school player. Rice Jr., pressed into duty as a quarterback late in his senior season, was named the Utility Player of the Year in California's Peninsula League.

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