2022 5-star wing MJ Rice leaning towards NC State? (w/ highlights)
MJ Rice is a 2022 5-star recruit playing at Oak Hill Academy. He transferred there from Durham Academy just this past year.
This was just another chapter in what has been an eventful high school career.
Rice was already turning heads as a freshman and was quickly climbing the ranks. His blend of size, speed, athleticism, and brute strength couples with great footwork, a solid handle, and a consistent shot, had college coaches taking notice.
He had Duke, Kentucky, NC State, Louisville, and a slew of other schools already showing serious interest and NBA draft boards penciling him in for a 2023 first rounder. But a torn ACL in December 2019 changed things.
Suddenly some of the top their schools began to look at other options. Almost all of the schools kept involved with Rice, but there were only a handful that kept recruiting him as hard as they had prior to the injury.
The surgery went well after 9 months of rehab, Rice was back. But questions remained if he’d be able to regain his lateral quickness and his athleticism.
If you’ve gotten to watch any of his games recently, you’d see that MJ Rice is back.
ESPN junior 60 MJ Rice: hard to guard!
Oak Hill leading La Lumiere 60-47 through three.@MJrice_1 pic.twitter.com/H8rPxUjE5u
— Who's Next (@WhosNextHS) February 6, 2021
While he’s likely still only at about 85-90%, he’s still the most dominant player on the floor almost every night, and he’s not even a senior yet.
This kid has it all. Barring any more setbacks, it’s hard to see him not being a superstar at both the college and the pro level. He’s got the size, the speed, the hops, the shot, and man is he strong.
Coming in at 6’5 and 225 lbs, Rice seeks contact. He’s an extremely physical player, forcing defenders to brace for contact. Sometimes he’ll deliver it, and sometimes he’ll put you on your heels and pull up a jumper in your face. Watching him against high schoolers almost seems unfair.
Here is how Rice described his game to Stockrisers.com:
“I’m a competitor. I can guard a 1-5 and I can score at all three levels. I’m a dog, so I’m very aggressive and I can create my own shot and shots for others. I can really open up the floor and attract all the attention and I can make plays for my teammates. I can really do it all with my size and ability to score and guard.”
Just this week, 247’s Crystal Ball predictions broke in favor of NC State. Multiple analysts have predicted Rice will end up with the Wolfpack, one of the teams he’s constantly said has recruited him the hardest over the course of his high school career. (There have also been rumors that he grew up rooting for the Wolfpack.)
Rice would immediately be the best player Keatts has ever brought it and would be a potential program changer, even if he were here for one year. He fits Keatts mold perfectly in that he’s a head down, hard working, no ego, kid who just loves to win.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on the situation, but as of now, it’s looking like the experts feel like Rice may be leaning towards NC State.
North Carolina High School Athletes Will Now be Able to Profit off NIL
NIL has shaken up the college sports world, and now it will be shaking up the high school sports world in North Carolina (NCHSAA), becoming one of 27 states to approve the ability for high school athletes to profit off their Name, Image and Likeness.
This will officially take place beginning July 1.
In order for a student athlete to begin this process, they will have to take a course on NIL, and their parents, coaches and athletic director will as well. Schools and coaches will not be able to represent the student in NIL Deals, and they will also not be allowed to use NIL as a way to draw athletes to their school.
There are restrictions on what student athletes can profit off of though.
The NCHSAA will prohibit student-athletes from entering into NIL deals with products around adult entertainment, alcohol, cannabis, controlled substances, firearms and ammunition, gambling, prescription drugs, as well as tobacco, vaping, and other Nicotine-related products. Athletes cannot affiliate themselves with a specific school, conference, school district, the NCHSAA, or the NFHS through a NIL deal.
What are your thoughts?
NC State Men’s Offers 4-Star Jahki Howard
Last Thursday, the Wolfpack offered 2024 Small Forward Jahki Howard (6’7″/180) out of Overtime Elite (Atlanta, GA).
Blessed to receive a offer from NC state 🙏🏽❤️ pic.twitter.com/4lgSd9b9s8
— Jahki Howard (@showtime_ki) April 28, 2023
ESPN ranks Howard as the #53 overall player nationally in the 2024 recruiting class, and the #3 player in the state of Georgia.
Howard is familiar with NC State, because NC State 2023 signee Trey Parker played with him down at Overtime Elite. In 2022-23, Howard averaged 10.1 points per game, shooting 58.6% from the field.
Check out these pictures of Howard on an unofficial visit to NC State with Parker.
View this post on Instagram
Check out these recent highlight reels of Howard.
View this post on Instagram
Jahki Howard has taken his game to another level. Off to a 5-0 start with NH Lightning on the Circuit.
Averaging 17.6PPG and 7.2RPG, while shooting 69% FG and 63% from 3P (7-11). Insane numbers.
Highlights below📺👇 pic.twitter.com/90DcLkLKN7
— GREENLIGHT MEDIA (@atlgreenlight) April 29, 2023
Parker and Howard showed out in this Dunk Contest a couple of months back.
Howard will be taking an Official Visit to Georgetown on May 8-9.
4-Star SF Jahki Howard Takes an Unofficial Visit to NC State
4-Star 2024 Small Forward Jahki Howard (6’7″/180) took an Unofficial Visit to NC State yesterday alongside 4-Star Shooting Guard Paul McNeil, who verbally committed to run with the Wolfpack yesterday.
🐺🐺nation ? Unofficial visit❤️🤍 #notcommitted pic.twitter.com/NxNncnptkm
— Jahki Howard (@showtime_ki) February 20, 2023
Howard is ranked as the #51 overall player nationally in the 2024 class by Rivals, and the #4 player in the state of Georgia according to ESPN. Howard plays for Overtime Elite in Atlanta, where 2023 NC State signee Trey Parker plays.
He also holds offers from Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Providence, Auburn, Rutgers, Illinois, Texas A&M, Mississippi St, Wake Forest, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Arizona St, Kansas, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, and others.
As far as I can tell, Howard doesn’t hold an offer from NC State at this point.
Jahki Howard earns Player of the Week honors after a big performance vs. Hillcrest dropping 25 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST 🚀 @showtime_ki pic.twitter.com/yPD5psrm2m
— Overtime Elite (@OvertimeElite) November 29, 2022
4-Star 2024 Shooting Guard Paul McNeil Commits to NC State!
What a day! 4-Star 2024 Shooting Guard Paul McNeil (6’6″/185) wrapped up his Official Visit to NC State today by committing to run with the Wolfpack, after watching them defeat their rival UNC in PNC Arena.
@PackMensBball #Committed🐺🐺 pic.twitter.com/AiSg5h2wCg
— P2⚡️ (@PaulMcneilJr) February 19, 2023
McNeil is the #17 overall player nationally in the 2024 recruiting class according to ESPN, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina.
In 2022-23, McNeil is averaging 23.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game for Richmond High School. Last year, he became the first ever Sophomore to win the Gatorade Player of the Year Award in the state of North Carolina.
McNeil also held offers from Clemson, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Alabama, Miami, Georgetown, St. John’s, LSU, Virginia Tech, Missouri, and others.
With our track record, hard to get too worked up until he signs, and actually shows up. KK will eventually get some, but hard to get your hopes up early.