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Why Brenden Rice Believes He's in 'Best Position Possible' With the Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers rookie class is photographed on Thursday, May 9, 2024 at Hoag Performance Center in Costa Mesa, CA.
The Los Angeles Chargers rookie class is photographed on Thursday, May 9, 2024 at Hoag Performance Center in Costa Mesa, CA.

Brenden Rice heard 224 names get selected before the Chargers took him at No. 225 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.

And his Hall of Fame father was less than pleased.

"My dad was hot," Rice said of his father, Jerry, one of the greatest players in NFL history. "First words he said was, 'Time to go to work'."

Rice later added: "You guys see the flash, the, 'What's up, guys?' The humble dude, right? Me, he's like, 'Hell no, we're going to take this to a different level, these guys are going to feel us.'"

The Chargers seventh-round pick met with reporters Friday for the first time since being drafted to recap a whirlwind few weeks.

In addition to the emotion of being drafted on Day 3, Rice was also mourning the loss of his best friend, Keith Miller III, with whom he played with at Colorado and attended his funeral during Day 3 of the draft.

But after reflecting over the last couple of weeks, this opportunity is one he's more than eager for as he tries to compete the same way he has at every stop.

"It was very frustrating, the whole draft process," Rice said. "But, at the same time, it was a blessing because everything can be a blessing in disguise. I prayed to go to a team that really wanted me, and God felt as though that the Los Angeles Chargers wanted me.

"It doesn't matter how long it takes, I just wanted to get my foot in the door, be around a good group of people," Rice continued. "I wanted to be in a room that I could go ahead and prove myself, doing the same things that I've been doing all my whole life, from Colorado to USC.

"Now, I've been chasing competition and I've always wanted to prove myself, time and time again," Rice added. "You can go ahead and be frustrated, but you have to look at it as a blessing."

Rice 1

Rice now begins his journey in the NFL after being one of USC's most productive and explosive receivers over the last couple years.

A 2023 Second-Team All-Pac-12 honoree after leading the Trojans with 12 receiving touchdowns, the seventh-round pick averaged a career-best 17.6 yards per catch, good for third in the Pac-12.

Numbers aside, Rice believes his mindset and approach is what makes him a special player and helped him grow over his couple of years at USC.

"I would have to say first above most, every day I approach the game with, 'Today, I will do what others won't so tomorrow I can do what others can't.' My work ethic will separate myself," Rice said.

He added: "There's a lot of great guys in the room, we got a lot of different body types, different types of games, but if I can go ahead and do the little things each day in and day out, go ahead and prove myself, go ahead and know my playbook like the back of my hand and also be attentive and do the extra little things, I think I will continue to separate myself in the room."

Even with his blazing speed and ability to get down the field, make no mistake — Rice is far from a finesse receiver.

The wideout prides himself on being physical in all aspects of blocking and receiving.

And playing on a team led by Chargers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, best believe he's excited about the opportunity to showcase it.

"I take a lot of pride in being a physical receiver. I'm in the Chargers offense," Rice said. "I'm with Coach Jim Harbaugh, as well as [wide receivers] Coach Sanjay [Lal].

"We're going to come with it each and every day. They pride themselves on physicality," Rice added. "We're going to have to be downfield and block."

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Rice knows he has to work to stand out as a seventh-round draft pick — but he also has a great quarterback to do so with in Justin Herbert.

"I'm getting really good at luck [with quarterbacks]," Rice said with a laugh. "I feel like my dad, honestly."

The USC product played collegiately with No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams and now gets a crack at it in the NFL as a potential weapon for Herbert.

It's given him some perspective that even though he was selected late, he has the perfect opportunity to make his mark in the NFL — it's now his job to do so.

"People want to sit here like, 'Are you sad? Are you mad?' Guys, I'm in the best position possible to go ahead and make my mark and make my own legacy," Rice said. "I went from Caleb Williams to Justin Herbert, and I'm in a room that's going to allow me to compete, day-in and day-out.

"Everything's upon me. If you guys don't see me coming on this Fall, that's on me," Rice added. "If you guys see me out there, then I put in the necessary work to put my best foot in the door and go out there and produce."

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