With a few weeks remaining before National Signing Day, Rice football is working to finish off their 2019 recruiting class.
National Signing Day, February 6, is fast approaching. Rice signed 17 players during the early signing period — a three day stretch in December which seems like so long ago. Now, though, the holidays are over and coaches and players trickling back to South Main.
Soon the final push for the 2019 Rice Football class will begin in earnest. That starts with an extremely important official visit weekend kicking off on Friday. Rice is tentatively scheduled to host nine players including a few signees. Here are five priority targets the Owls are after this weekend:
Brian Chaffin – Center from Stanford (Grad Transfer)
Graduations, injury losses and transfers have left a leadership void on this team. Bringing in the right veterans who understand the culture Bloomgren is trying to create at Rice would be a big catalyst to this program. Chaffin is one such player. An Under Armor All-American out of high school, Chaffin was a top-10 center in the nation. Recruiting by Bloomgren while he was at Stanford, he played in 28 games over the last three seasons along an impressive offensive line.
Reagan Williams – Fullback from Stanford (Grad Transfer)
Williams is another Stanford product with meaningful collegiate experience. The fullback played in 32 games over the past three seasons and could be the second Pac-12 fullback transfer in two years for Bloomgren. Rice added Gio Gentosi last year, who capped off the season with his first career touchdown. Needless to say, the fullback is an important piece in this offense.
Cooper Laake – Defensive Tackle from Austin, Tx
A former Texas Tech commit, Laake’s recruitment opened up when Kliff Kingsbury was replaced in Lubbock by Matt Wells. Laake has offers from Colorado State, Oregon, and Purdue among others. He’s a gamechanger up front. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive tackle would be an even bigger addition in light of recent transfer news at the position.
Jovoni Johnson – Dual Threat QB from Conway, AR
Losing a commitment at the 11th hour wasn’t part of the plan at quarterback, but Rice could rebound nicely with the addition of Jovoni Johnson. Standing 6-foot-5 with some nice wheels, Johnson has intriguing raw talent. He threw for 1,339 yards and ran or 853 yards during his senior season, tallying 30 combined touchdowns. He’s being targeting by Arkansas for a walk-on spot but Rice would prefer he heads south to Texas.
Tom Stewart – Pro Style QB from Harvard (Grad Transfer)
Given the health concerns at quarterback last season it would be prudent for Rice to invest in another veteran arm who’ll be ready to come in and play immediately if needed. Stewart saw action in five games in his first two years at Harvard before appearing in nine contests last fall. He threw for 1,974 yards and 15 touchdowns with five interceptions. His teammate, wide receiver Justice Shelton-Mosley, is also high on the Owls’ priority list.
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