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Former James Clemens All-State player Monty Rice, No. 54, had his best game of the NFL season for the Tennessee Titans finishing second in tackles in a game against the Denver Broncos. Photo- Donald Page/Tennessee Titans

Former Local Athletes In The NFL

MADISON- Two of the most prolific football players in the history of Madison high school football are busy with their tasks in the National Football League. Monty Rice of James Clemens recently had his best game of the season for the Tennessee Titans while Reggie Ragland from Bob Jones is busy working his way back into action with the Las Vegas Raiders.

For Rice, a graduate of James Clemens in 2017 and a third-round choice by the Titans in the 2021 NFL Draft, he had his best game of the 2022 season for the AFC South leading Titans against the visiting Denver Broncos. In the thrilling 17-10 victory, the Titans’ performance on defense was amazing since the Titans played without five starters. Backups, including Rice, rose to the occasion as the defensive squad tallied six sacks and 18 quarterback hits.

The 6-foot, 233-pound linebacker-special teams player recorded seven tackles including four solo and one for a loss against the Broncos. His effort tied him for second on the team against the horses. In his second season with the Titans, much of Rice’s play has been regulated to special teams coverage, but he took advantage of his extra work in the Titans’ ninth game of the 2022 season.

“For us to go out there and keep battling in all three phases of the game is absolutely huge,” said Mike Vrabel head coach of the Titans after the game against the Broncos. “I thought our guys never quit as they tried to pick up each other and support each other. When the offense needed a play, the defense was able to come and help.”

Ragland has been out of the NFL since the end of the 2021 season where he played in every game, including nine starts, for the New York Giants at linebacker. Despite his good play of recording 67 tackles, he was not re-signed in the offseason. He continued working out in his quest to return to play in what is his seventh season in the league. Two weeks ago, he was signed by the Las Vegas Raiders for their practice squad.

Ragland graduated from Bob Jones in 2012 and was a three-time All-State selection and even earned the Class 6A Lineman of the Year Award in his senior year. He signed with the Alabama Crimson Tide where he played for two National Championship teams for the Tide and earned the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award and All-American status in 2015. He was selected in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He has played for four NFL teams including the Kansas City Chiefs where he was part of the team that won the Super Bowl in the Chiefs’ 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.

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