Despite getting a late start in recruiting due to the coaching change, Tommy Tuberville and his UC staff continue to assemble a group of junior college stars and high school seniors that they feel meets the needs of the 2013 Bearcats. This weekend the Cincinnati staff added their second recruit in as many weeks. Interestingly, both have come from the same high school.
Although Tice has reported offers from Purdue and Mississippi, he officially visited South Alabama last weekend and came to Cincinnati on Friday. It was during this most recent official visit that the 5-foot-11, 206 pound back with 4.48 forty speed decided to end his recruitment.
“Yes, I committed to Cincinnati,” said Tice after his plane landed in Miami on Sunday afternoon. “I liked the players and the coaching staff. It just felt like a family. I had a good time and just loved it.”
Florida State transfer, Jeff Luc, served as Tice’s host and made a very good impression.
“He was a great host. I felt like he was like an older brother to me.”
Tice entered the 2012 season as a bit of an unknown after rushing for only 377 yards as a junior, but the senior averaged 100 rushing yards a game (8.8 yard per carry average) this year in helping Miami Northwestern (9-3) return to the Florida 6A state playoffs. In 2011, the Bulls missed the postseason for the first time in nineteen years.
Using both his power and his speed, the 2nd team all-state performer showed a flare for the dramatic when he twice won games with lengthy fourth quarter touchdown runs. The senior scampered 51 yards for a score with 1:48 left to beat Columbus 10-7 and essentially beat Southridge with a 72 yard scoring dash in the closing moments to give the Bulls their only points in a 7-0 victory. Tice was Northwestern’s first 1,000 yard rusher in six years when he totaled 1,210 yards on the season.
The newest Bearcat explained an unusual nickname.
“They call me ‘Whopper,’” he laughed. “When I was little, I was chubby so my mom nicknamed me Whopper.”
Both Tice’s parents accompanied him on the trip to Cincinnati.
Cincinnati’s offensive coordinator, Eddie Gran, was the point man in landing the Miami star, and their relationship goes back to the summer.
“I attended the Miami (FL) camp and the Florida State camp,” said Tice. “I met (Coach Gran) when he was at Florida State, and when he went to Cincinnati, he stayed with me.”
Although not a package deal, the talented running back knows recently committed Aaron Brown very well.
“He’s my best friend,” said Tice.
Although not generally listed as a school that has offered, Tice said there is another suitor.
“South Florida has offered,” he said.
Tice was selected to play in the 18th Annual Nike Florida All Star Game on December 22, and like he did all year, he found pay dirt scoring two touchdowns for the Dade County squad. Tice scored 20 touchdowns during the 2012 season.
The Northwestern star is considering a communications major and said he currently has a 3.4 GPA. He can sign his official letter of intent on Wednesday, February 6.