Rice was an All-State and honorable mention All-American in 1969. He scored 29 touchdowns and gained 1,803 yards in his senior year at St. Clairsville. He was a first team selection for the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference. He also lettered in track and basketball.

As a freshman at WVU, he led the freshman squad in rushing and scoring. He gained 411 yards on 65 carries for a 6.3 yards-per-carry average and seven touchdowns. He also had great speed and was clocked at 4.5 seconds for the 40-yard dash. As a sophomore, he played tailback until the latter part of the season when the coaches switched him to defense and liked what they saw. He was considered an excellent tackler on kickoff coverage. However, he saw little action because of injuries. Going into his junior year he was listed as second team corner back behind Marcus Mauney.