From Mourning to Frustration to Fired Up: Brenden Rice’s Emotional Rollercoaster on Draft Day

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Former USC Trojans and 2024 Los Angeles Chargers draft pick, Brenden Rice started Day 2 of the NFL Draft by boarding a 5 AM flight to Dallas, Texas. It is there that the 22-year-old served as the pallbearer and eulogist for his best friend and former teammate Keith Miller III, who died about two weeks previously.

Meanwhile, Rice was expecting a very important phone call from the NFL team that was intending to draft him. Most draftniks projected the 6’3″ 210 lbs wide receiver to come off the board in the late third to early fourth round. But those rounds came and went without Rice getting the call. Then the 5th round passed by. Nothing. The sixth? Nope. In the final round, with just about 30 spots remaining, the Chargers made the call to inform Rice that they would be picking him with the 225th pick in the 2024 draft. Over 100 players were Chose from where he was expected to go, including more than a dozen wide receivers.

Rice posted to Instagram in response: “Yesterday I began to drip 4 rounds from where I was supposed to go. Today I laid my brother to rest in Dallas. Trying to mourn, but also waiting for a phone call. I don’t know what happened to make me drop, but I’m glad God gave me the ability to focus on him and I felt as though God as well as Keith brought me back to my Faith. Now begins the journey up the mountain once again.”

Rice punctuated his statement with this: “You will feel my pain”

Brenden Rice’s Reaction to Being Drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers

Brenden Rice
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On Tuesday, the Chargers released a video that captured Rice’s response when Joe Hortiz informed him that they would be picking him. The words were simple, but you could feel a weight lifted off the young man’s shoulders.

The video shows Rice taking the call while waiting at the airport.

“This was one of my top teams, Rice said once he regained his composure, you guys don’t know, I love Jim Harbaugh. I can’t wait to come play for y’all. Y’all finna get a dog out of me. I’m hungry.”

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