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5-Star OT Zach Rice Commits to UNC over Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, More

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2021

Image via 247Sports.com

Zach Rice, a 5-star offensive tackle from the Liberty Christian Academy in Lynchburg, Virginia, committed to North Carolina on Thursday.

247Sports @247Sports

#BREAKING: The No. 1 OT in the country Zach Rice has committed to coach Mack Brown and @UNCFootball 🔥🐏 “I will be a program changer.” @od_zach 🔥 https://t.co/cRQ1mwUCNO

Rice chose North Carolina over Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Virginia.

The 6'6", 282-pound Rice is considered the No. 9 prospect in the country, the top offensive tackle and the top player from the state of Virginia, per 247Sports.

Brian Dohn of the recruiting website offered the following scouting report on Rice:

"Agile and high-level athlete. Moves well in space. Plays with attitude and nastiness. Strong at point of attack and uses his lower body strength well. Initial punch is forceful and plays with heavy hands. Once engaged remains locked on and drives legs. Finishes blocks well. ... Is patient in pass pro and does not lunge often. Consistency with hand placement needed. Has to continue to work on bend to be more consistent with sinking hips and winning leverage battle. Has to refine kick step. Multi-year starter at top 10 program. NFL first-round potential."

Rice has obvious physical tools, but it's his intangibles that he takes the most pride in as a player.

"My humility and my mindset," he said when talking about what distinguishes him from other offensive line prospects around the country, per Ahmed Ghafir of SI.com. "I come out and compete. Everyone gets beat, but I'm always the one that bounces back in games and camps."

Say what you want about Mack Brown, but the man can recruit. Rice will join 5-star defensive lineman Travis Shaw in what has become one of the top recruiting classes in the nation. Everybody may be looking up to Clemson in the ACC, but Brown and the Tar Heels have landed some potential future stars.

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