Brenden Rice has been one of the most recruited wide receivers in the state for multiple years now.
He’s coming off a strong junior season, catching 49 passes for 729 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Rice has always had the size, standing at 6-foot-3, 208 pounds, down about 10 pounds from the start of his junior season. Some colleges questioned his speed, but those questions seemed to be answered after Rice’s strong track showing.
“(Coach Zdebski) pushed me to do track because I didn’t want to do track at all,” Rice said. “He pushed me, and I stepped out on the track and I was able to develope and grow and learn the leadership skills from some of the track people and apply it to my own terms, my own nature. That was really cool.”
After he ran a 10.75 100-meter dash in the state track championship, Rice saw a surge in his recruiting in recent weeks, adding offers from Michigan (wide receiver and linebacker), Michigan State, USC and Ole Miss.
— Brian Stumpf (@Stumpf_Brian) May 12, 2019
Rice is now up to 20 offers including Oregon, UCLA, ASU, Arizona, Cal, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Washington State.
Coach Zdebski coached Michigan State receiver Cody White while at Walled Lake Western. He sees similarities between White and Rice.
“Brenden is bigger, he’s stronger, he is proven to be faster and that was the one thing when I got here, that was the knock on him, he wasn’t fast,” Zdebski said. “That’s why he didn’t get a number of offers and that’s why I wanted to coach track too so that we could get these kids out here and get them faster.”
That doesn’t seem to be a perceived issue for colleges now.
I plan on cutting my list soon.😁
— Brenden Rice (@BrendenKhalil) May 21, 2019
Zdebski said head track coach E.J. Martin has helped multiple football players speed up for when they hit the gridiron.
With the influx of offers, Rice is lining up visits and resetting his commitment timeline.