After a remarkable high school career at Lakewood High School in Marysville, Washington, Rife was given a full ride to the University of Washington where he dominated in his four years as a versatile outfielder. During his senior season at Washington, Rife dominated Pac-10 pitching, hitting .328 with 39 RBIs and six home runs. The Los Angeles Angels then took him in the 48th round of the 2009 amateur entry draft. Rife’s most successful season came in 2010 while playing rookie ball for the Orem Owlz. In 29 games, he hit .343 with 19 RBIs and four home runs.