Colorado wide receiver
“He’s such a great kid,” Dorrell said. “He’s a hungry, determined, talented young player. We just felt that he’s a freshman that is a little bit beyond his time, in terms of maturity and he’s made a couple of really nice plays for us already — had his first touchdown last week — and we’re going to continue to bring him forward.
“And to his credit, he never mentions anything about his dad and he doesn’t like that, to be making those comparisons about he and his dad. So he wants to kind of earn his own there, to be on his own path of success with his own right, which I back on that. So he’s off to great start.”
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Rice has made an immediate impact. Through two games, Rice has caught three passes for 43 yards (14.3 average) and one touchdown, a 34-yard score that put Colorado up 19 points in last Saturday’s eventual 35-32 win at Stanford.
Rice has shown his flashes from when he was a four-star recruit out of Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton for the 2020 class. The 247Sports Composite considered him the nation’s No. 336 overall prospect, No. 57 wide receiver and No. 10 player in Arizona.
He committed Oct. 15, 2019, and signed his letter of intent Dec. 18, 2019, with former Buffs head coach Mel Tucker. Dorrell replaced Tucker, whom Michigan State hired Feb. 12, Feb. 23.
As a former wide receiver at UCLA (1983-86) before specializing in the position at multiple college and NFL coaching stops, from a debut stint via UCF (1989) to his latest chapter with the Miami Dolphins (2019), Dorrell keeps an eye on the group and Rice. Interestingly enough, he modeled his game as a player after the elder Rice, a 13-time Pro Bowl pick and two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
“I might be able to run a hitch. I think I could run that six-yard hitch and stop, I think I can do that, but I know Jerry — I’ve patterned a lot of my game, as a player, after Jerry Rice. And I’m a big fan of his — his career, his regimen and how he prepared, what made him to be the best receiver in the history of the game.
“So I’m looking forward to an opportunity to visit with him at some point, but I know that he’d be a definitely better technician that I would. But I’d be a close second, I know that, because I tried to pattern a lot of the things that I did after what he’s done.”
Colorado (2-0) is off until next Saturday, Nov. 28, at No. 20 USC (2-0) after coronavirus issues within the Arizona State (0-1) program canceled Saturday’s 10 p.m. ET game. After the Trojans, who have a 10:30 p.m. ET game at Utah (0-0) Saturday, only a couple more games remain on the Buffs’ schedule — a Dec. 5 contest at Arizona (0-1) and Dec. 11’s matchup against the Utes.
“Just trying to get as many games as we can,” Dorrell said. “Our team is — they’re hungry, they’re excited. We’re all excited about the positive start that we’ve made. Sometimes, you want to stay in rhythm because you’ve won two games in a row and you want to continue to play. Unfortunately, we’re not able to do that. But there’s still a lot to be played for. These players want to play.
“As coaches, we want to coach and we want to try to get in as many games as we can. Who knows what that’s going to amount to be, in terms of what’s in front of us. Apparently, because we don’t have any bye weeks, we have four games left on our schedule. So it may only be a six-game season or it might be less because of things that could happen in succeeding weeks. So we’re just taking it a week at a time and trying to make the most of it.”