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Top 70 MAC Football Players: #21 Cody Grice (DL/FB- Akron Zips)

The second Akron Zip in our countdown of the top 70 MAC players can both run the ball, and stop the run.

Charles LeClaire (USA TODAY Sports)

The jump from high school football to FBS football requires many players to make adjustments to their game. Some of the best athletes to make it in to the big leagues of the college football world (D-IA) play both sides of the ball in high school, but are forced to focus on one of the positions once they make it to college.

Very rarely do we come across players like Cody Grice. It looked like the 5-foot-11, 275 pound, nose tackle gave up his fullback duties for good once he made the trip across town to Akron by way of Firestone high school in 2011. The standout on defense made a huge splash in 2014 when Akron Zips head coach Terry Bowden pulled out the classic Bowden WHAMO package in a Week 5 game at Pittsburgh.

A couple of goal line hand-offs to Grice put the Zips in the end zone to put them ahead for good in that game, 14-10. The next trip to the goal line ended in the same result for the Zips, Grice pounding it through the defense for a touchdown. The Zips won the game 21-10 and Cody Grice became a household name around the MAC.

He went on to carry the ball 20 times during the season for a total of 44 yards and 4 touchdowns. His size was a clear advantage in that out of the twenty carries, none went for negative yardage. However, the 2015 Akron depth chart does not have Grice at the fullback position. That is occupied by redshirt freshman Newman Williams from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.

Grice did a great job at the fullback position in 2014, but he was even better as the anchor of Akron's defensive line, earning First Team All-MAC honors. Starting in all 12 games, Grice made 31 total tackles including 4 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He also forced a fumble and recovered three more.

Since Grice began playing for the Zips as a redshirt freshman in 2012, he has never missed a start. As a freshman in 2012, Grice was one of the only players on the Zips' defense that played at a respectable level. The defense as a whole gave up around 30 points per game that year, but Grice recorded 47 total tackles including 7.5 for loss. In 2015, Grice will be the anchor of a defensive line featuring Se'Von Pittman, Rodney Coe, and Jamal Marcus. He has been named preseason first team All-MAC by Athlon Sports and third team preseason All-MAC by Phil Steele.

In 2014, Grice rocked an interesting hair-do. He went with a half hair, half shaved head. You can find a picture at number six on this slideshow.

Also, check out this video from MAC Media Day 2015. The MAC gave Grice a GoPro to wear around all day, and these were the results.