|78 Messiah Rice|
Slated to serve as East Carolina’s starting left tackle according to preseason depth chart … Has enjoyed a quickly climb up the two-deep after serving redshirt freshman campaign as all-conference performer Ike Harris’ top backup … Has worked with three different line coaches since arrival at ECU, but development and growth appeared to accelerate with arrival of Geep Wade … Did suffer slight setback after missing the last two weeks of spring practice because of foot injury … Coaches laud size, physicality and willingness to accept fundamental and assignment development … Potential is limitless in strength and conditioning program as well … Has added nearly 40 pounds of body growth during the last two off-seasons combined … Lifts include a bench press of 395 pounds, a back squat of 440, a power clean of 265, a push jerk of 242 and a shot put toss of 61” … Agility and footwork numbers of note are reflected in a 4.83 pro shuttle time and three-cone drill clip of 7.75, which ranks among the top 10 percent of unit.
2015: Played in three games during first active season on ECU roster … Experienced action as a reserve lineman in road contests vs. SMU, Connecticut and UCF … Pirates turned in their highest total offense production in two of those games – 555 against Mustangs and 622 against Knights.
2014: Redshirted as a true freshman during first season in the Pirate program … Contributed efforts on the offensive scout squad, preparing defensive front on a game-by-game basis.
High School: Earned an invitation to represent South Carolina in the prestigious Shrine Bowl at the conclusion of his senior year … A First-Team All-Area (offense) selection by the Orangeburg Times & Democrat … Helped guide Bruins to a 9-2 record, which included a perfect 5-0 road mark, as a senior … Wilkinson advanced to the state playoffs but fell in the opening round to North Myrtle Beach High School (52-35) … A three-year letterwinner who also was a key part of a 7-5 squad in 2012 (5-3 region) … A strong student with a high school grade point average of 3.5 … Made his commitment to the Pirate program on Aug. 28, just three days prior to ECU’s season opener against Old Dominion.
Personal: Full name is Messiah T. Rice … A communications major.