Rice is Rutgers’ all-time leading rusher with 4,296 yards and 49 t ouchdowns. The second-team All-American finished third in the nation with 2,012 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns last season.
The Ravens drafted him in the second round and gave him a four-year contract that included a $1.1 million signing bonus.
Projected as Willis McGahee’s primary backup, the Ravens are auditioning him on kickoff returns and punt returns. He hasn’t returned punts since high school.
"Ray Rice has done a great job fielding punts," coach John Harbaugh said. â€œHe’s got good hands, and it seems like he’s got a knack for it."
This transition reminds Rice of when he was a freshman and backed up Brian Leonard before eventually becoming the featured back.
"You just have to come in with a beginner’s mentality," he said. "That’s how you become a better runner. I’m not sure I’ll know everything inside-out, but the things I need to know, I’ll know this year."
One thing Rice will never forget is the example of his mother, Janet Rice, a special-education teacher in New Rochelle, N.Y.
"My mom has been a role model for me all my life," he said. "She’s been my biggest fan, my No. 1 supporter. I’m a family-oriented guy. Go moms!"
NO TO FAVRE: The Ravens were recently contacted by the Green Bay Packers regarding a potential trade for quarterback Brett Favre. However, the Ravens informed the Packers that they aren’t interested.The Packers’ compensation offer was reportedly a third-round draft pick and a player, but it was a short conversation: No thanks.
QUICK HITS: Outside linebacker Dan Cody has dominated pass-rush drills, drawing praise from coaching intern Chuck Smith. A former Atlanta Falcons defensive end, Smith isn’t the only former NFL starter helping out in camp, including former Ravens lineman Larry Webster and former linebacker Brad Jackson and retired offensive tackle Roman Oben. … Running back Allen Patrick drew laughter when he accidentally banged into a set of trash cans during a blocking drill when his right shoulder slipped off the padded goalpost, tumbling to the ground. "I think it’s scared of me now," Patrick said. … Harbaugh fell down while backpedaling at cornerback. "What’s that machine called when you fall and you can’t get back up right away? Lifeline?" he said. "Well, I needed one of those today." … Harbaugh was pumped about his first full-team meeting at camp Wednesday night. "I have been preparing the message for the first training camp as head coach," he said. "It’s going to be fun to deliver." … Seventh-round wide receiver Justin Harper’s three-year contract included a signing bonus of nearly $44,000. … The Ravens practiced outdoors in the afternoon following a rainstorm. … Tight end Todd Heap reported to camp at 10 p.m. Tuesday night and ran on his own Wednesday at practice.