The school had a history of winning state championships. The roster was so deep that Coach Frank Lenti moved Simeon to tight end and defensive end before his junior season.
The school was so successful that the University of Notre Dame was consistently making recruiting visits. Simeon fought the move, purposely dropping passes and missing tackles in practice. Before his senior season, Coach Lenti had a talk with Simeon and told him there was still time to be great at football, but he had to accept that he was better suited for defense.
His father worked on the assembly line at Ford and his mother was a school teacher who worked with troubled children. He mouthed off and took swings at his teachers and was frequently sent home from school.
His father would not stand for his misbehavior and reached the point of threatening to hold young Simeon’s head under water.
When the time came for Simeon to attend high school, his parents sent him to Mt.
Carmel, an all-boys Catholic school about an hour from where the Rice family lived.
That season he had 9 sacks, a school record for a rookie and was voted the Big Ten rookie of the year.
Simeon’s sophomore season was a disappointment for him and the team.Kevin Hardy, another linebacker on the team, was named the team MVP.Rice had 16 sacks, a school record, and was named a 2nd team All- American.Simeon wound up at the University of Illinois for college.After three days of practice, University of Illinois defensive coordinator Denny Marcin told Rice’s parents that their son was destined for greatness.Perhaps his finest game of the season was against Washington State.