BILLINGS — If the other side wants to talk trade, Ryder Rice is willing to listen.
Rice holds the coveted No. 1 draft pick in the upcoming draft for the Rocky Mountain College football team.
To make the annual spring game a bit more interesting for all those involved, coach Chris Stutzriem has decided to take a different approach.
Stutzriem is dividing the players into two separate teams for the Green & Gold Game on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Herb Klindt Field.
He had the team choose six players — three captains for each team — who will then conduct a draft of their teammates on Monday evening in Stutzriem’s office.
“I want to make it fun. Lighten the mood a little bit,” said Stutzriem.
His only requirement was to make sure that quarterbacks Drew Korf and Nate Dick were on opposite teams.
“To make it fair,” Stutzriem added.
Because Rice received the most votes for captain among his teammates, he had the option of choosing jersey color or having the top pick. He opted for the top pick.
Rice, a defensive end, is the captain of the Green team, along with Dick and receiver Lucas Overton. Captains of the Gold team are Korf, linebacker Dallas Mack and defensive lineman Denton Wetherell.
Both group of captains met on Saturday to plan their Monday draft strategies.
And like their NFL counterparts, Rice is open for offers.
“I’d be fine with that, trade the No. 1 for the next two picks,” said Rice if an offer is broached. “But I have to see what the other captains feel like.
“We’re thinking about what we need. You have to decide what you want. Do you want a killer D or a killer offense? The thing is to try and get both. I’d like to pick front to back … start with the offensive and defensive lines. I’m looking for a guy who can coach his own position. To get the other picks in line.
“Bu that’s just my opinion. The other captains might have their own opinions.”
The Battlin’ Bears assistant coaches will also be equally divided with Stutzriem remaining neutral. “I’m in the middle,” he said with a laugh.
The teams will practice separately on Tuesday and Thursday before the final spring practice on Saturday.
The captains were already scouting potential players during last week’s practices.
“A few guys have emerged from spring ball,” said Korf of keeping a watchful eye on teammates. “A couple of young guys are doing well.
“You want guys who can make plays and who bring a lot of energy to the sideline. Guys who can bring the juice.”
Stutzriem said the spring game will consist of approximately 80 plays, depending on time and the team’s health.