Rice football had an up and down year on offense, but Austin Trammell was the steady hand through it all. He’s our 2018 Offensive Player of the Year.
The Rice pass catchers were almost a complete unknown entering the 2018 season. There weren’t any proven wideouts on the roster outside of Aaron Cephus who caught 25 passes for 622 yards last season,
In 2017 Austin Walter was still primarily a running back and the next two closest pass catchers, tight end Jordan Myers and Austin Trammell, caught 11 passes and four passes, respectively. There was plenty of opportunities for another pass catcher to emerge. Austin Trammell seized his chance and ran with it, more than earning the honor of being named the 2018 Offensive Player of the Year.
Dubbed “Mr. Consistent” by head coach Mike Bloomgren in fall camp, Trammell became the linchpin of the Owls’ offense. He led the team in receptions (62), receiving yards (632) and was the only player to register at least one reception in all 13 games.
He set team and career highs with a 10 catch performance against North Texas and 112 receiving yards against UTEP. His 53-yard scramble drill touchdown against the Miners further solidified his status as the safety net for whomever the Owls had under center which, in 2018, varied from week to week.
Short of scoring a few more touchdowns, there wasn’t much through the air that Trammell wasn’t able to achieve. Walter’s 62 receptions ranked seventh-most in school history and were eight-most of any Conference USA pass catcher in 2018.
His successes didn’t go unnoticed. Bloomgren said Trammell was “absolutely the way I would build a football player,” praising No. 10’s work ethic and consistent approach to the game. Trammell was so reliable he was trusted with punt return and kick return duties as well. He led the team with a long punt return on 19 yards and a long kick return of 54 yards, outpacing even all-purpose weapon Austin Walter.
A slot receiver might not be the primary pass catcher of most offenses, but it was for Rice this season. Given how productive Trammell was as a sophomore, it’s hard to imagine the offense moving the ball consistently without him.
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