2021 Mountain West Football Top 50 Players: #6, Utah State LB Justin Rice

2021 Mountain West Football Top 50 Players: #6, Utah State LB Justin Rice

Mountain West Football

2021 Mountain West Football Top 50 Players: #6, Utah State LB Justin Rice

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2021 Mountain West Football Top 50 Players: #6, Utah State LB Justin Rice


The Utah State linebacker returns to the Mountain West as the highest-ranked Aggies player on our annual countdown of the conference’s best.


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Our countdown gets some Sun Belt shine.

The next player on our annual list of Mountain West football’s best is Utah State linebacker Justin Rice, who is probably the first player in our history of doing this to make the cut for a second straight year while most recently performing at a high level outside of the conference.

That’s because Rice, who was the Mountain West’s pick as preseason defensive player of the year last July, decided to transfer to Arkansas State from Fresno State when the conference’s 2020 season looked like it might be shuttered for good in the face of the COVID pandemic. While the Mountain West ended up playing football after all, Rice cranked out his best collegiate campaign yet for the Red Wolves instead in 2020. In eleven games, Rice paced Arkansas State with 76 total tackles and led the entire country with 18.5 tackles for loss while also picking up seven sacks.

In following new Aggies head coach Blake Anderson to Logan, Rice is back in his old stomping grounds, so to speak, and could very well make good on following through with the conference media’s high praise for him a year later than expected.

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