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Fresno State football recruiting: Bulldogs land three-star athlete Justin Rice

The brother of Fresno State freshman Jared Rice was an All-State running back last year for California state champion Central Catholic.

Student Sports

Fresno State cashed in on its second verbal commitment of the last week, landing three-star athlete Justin Rice.

Rivals staff writer Jason Phillips was the first to report Rice's commitment to the Bulldogs.

Rice, standing a six-foot-one and weighing 215 pounds, joins Texas running back Darien Hammonds as recruits to commit to Fresno State's 2016 recruiting class in the last week. Rice had offers from San Jose State and UNLV, as well.

Rice's brother, Jared, will be a freshman tight end this fall for the Bulldogs.

Rice was versatile in his junior season at Central Catholic (Modesto, Calif.), playing running back, outside linebacker, strong safety and wide receiver. He's listed as a running back prospect by 247, and an outside linebacker by Rivals.

As a running back, Rice, the 2014 Valley Oak League Offensive MVP, had 2146 yards and 30 touchdowns on 192 carries. Rice had a stretch of 11-straight games where he rushed for over 100 yards, leading Central Catholic to its third-consecutive Division IV California state championship. He was named All-State by both CalHiSports and MaxPreps.

According to James Burns of the Modesto Bee, Rice had a torn meniscus at the end of last season. His knee was scoped and he was back in the weight room two weeks later.

"The only concern is that I haven’t been hit there yet," Rice told Burns. "I’m hoping it gets beat up a little in (preseason) camp, so I know it can take the beating."

Here are Rice's junior year highlights.