Jerry Rice’s Son Continues His Legacy, Transfers to Major Program Out West
Photo by Bob Drebin/ISI Photos/Getty Images (left), Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images (right)

I miss Jerry Rice.

By the time I started understanding what football was, I’d just missed the star San Francisco 49ers wide receiver’s prime years. It was in the late 1990s, however, that I began gravitating towards my favorite NFL players. Living in Pittsburgh, it was impossible not to love Steelers like Rod Woodson, Greg Lloyd and Kevin Greene, but something about Rice stuck with me. Watching him dominate, even late in his career, was like poetry in motion. He’s arguably the greatest football player in NFL history, and there might never be another weapon to come along and break his records.

That’s quite the legacy to live up to for Hamilton High School wide receiver Brenden Rice.

The former three-star recruit was ranked as the 10th-best player in Arizona for the 2020 recruiting cycle. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 204 pounds, he was almost the identical height and weight of his Pro Football Hall of Fame father in high school. Described as “physical off the line and a big target,” Rice was a carbon copy of his dad.

After originally playing at the University of Colorado, he’s transferring and taking his talents to a major Power 5 program.

Jerry Rice’s Son Brenden Rice’s Recruitment

Brenden Rice runs with the ball during a Colorado game in 2021.
Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Arizona Wildcats
  • Arizona State Sun Devils
  • Colorado Buffaloes
  • Michigan Wolverines
  • Nebraska Cornhuskers
  • Ole Miss Rebels
  • Oregon Ducks
  • Texas A&M Aggies
  • UCLA Bruins
  • USC Trojans
  • Washington State Cougars

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Brenden Rice had numerous offers coming out of Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona, but the son of NFL royalty ultimately chose to attend the University of Colorado.

The Under Armour All-American previously verbally committed to joining head coach Mel Tucker (who is now at Michigan State) and the Colorado Buffaloes football program in the Pac-12 Conference.


In two underwhelming seasons at Colorado, he caught 27 total passes for 419 yards and five touchdowns. He still has a lot of time left in his NCAA career to make waves and have a better career than his brother.

RELATED: Jerry Rice Found Love Again After Retirement

Jerry Rice Jr. was a walk-on wide receiver as a member of the UCLA Bruins, catching nine passes for 69 yards during the 2011-12 seasons. He transferred to UNLV for his final year of eligibility, where he caught 11 passes for 86 yards and his only career touchdown. After brief stints as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins, Rice spent two years with the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL before leaving the game.

Before rewriting the NFL record book himself, Jerry Rice Sr. played college football for Mississippi Valley State University and became a first-round pick in the 1985 NFL Draft. After three Super Bowls, one Super Bowl MVP, an NFL MVP (1987), 13 Pro Bowl selections and 21 seasons playing for the 49ers, Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks, the elder Rice entered both the NFL and College Football Hall of Fames.

For the next offspring of a legend, becoming a great player has nothing to do with his genes. And despite a distant relationship with his biological father, Brenden Rice is motivated to build a legacy all his own.


“With the whole Rice name, and all that, I truly look at myself as another one like everybody else. I have to earn my status. Success is not inherited, it’s earned so like, that’s the motto I go by every day,” Brenden Rice said in an interview with

After two seasons in Boulder, Brenden Rice announced his new transfer destination.

Brenden Rice Transfers to USC

Brenden Rice is taking his talents out west where his dad became a legend for the San Francisco 49ers. He’ll play for new USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley during the 2022 season.

With massive footsteps to follow in, Brenden Rice will never be the Hall of Fame talent his father was. There won’t ever be another Jerry Rice. But there’s no doubt football fans will feel nostalgic watching the son of an NFL great take the field in gold and cardinal.

This article was originally published June 5, 2019. It was updated with Brenden Rice’s transfer decision.

MORE: Jerry Rice’s Net Worth: How Rich is the NFL Legend Today?

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John Duffley About the author:
John joins the FanBuzz team with five years of experience freelancing as a sports writer for and A graduate of Penn State University, John currently lives and works in Austin, Texas. He is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
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