KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rocky Mountain College defensive lineman Ryder Rice was one of five Frontier Conference football players to be selected to the American Football Coaches Association all-American team, the organization announced on Tuesday.
Rice, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound junior from Savage, had 12.5 total sacks, best in the Frontier Conference and sixth-best in the country, for Jason Petrino’s Battlin’ Bears. He averaged one sack per game, ranking him No. 8 in the NAIA.
Rice helped lead Rocky to the NAIA playoffs, the only team from the Frontier Conference to qualify for the postseason. He recorded 56 tackles, 17 tackles-for-loss, 12.5 sacks and an interception this fall with a season-best four sacks in the Bears’ opener against Carroll College. His seven tackles in a playoff loss to No. 1 Morningside were the highest output of his junior season.
In 33 games, Rice has totaled 155 tackles, 37 tackles-for-loss and 26 sacks. He will return for his senior season as the Frontier Conference’s defending leader in total sacks, tackles for a loss, and tackles for a loss per game. Rocky had the No. 2 defense in the league this fall.
Montana Western linebacker Jason Ferris was a first-team all-American selection, while Eastern Oregon saw receiver Brenden Kelly and offensive lineman Mick Wilson honored. Southern Oregon kicker Marcus Montano was named first-team all-American.
Former Kalispell Glacier standout Cain Boschee joined Rice as a second-team all-American at his defensive back position at Dickinson State.
To view the complete list of AFCA all-Americans, please click here.