We’re one month out from the Early Signing Period and the 2020 Rice Football recruiting class keeps adding new names to their radar.
The already star-studded 2020 Rice Football recruiting class would like to add a few new names to the ranks before the Early Signing Period arrives on December 18. The Owls are making plans for several additional high school additions, but they’ll keep their eyes on potential transfer targets as well. Here are a few names that have emerged in recent weeks.
Mike Leone – OT – Hun School (NJ) – 2020
I mentioned Leone in a previous update, but I wanted to bring him back up here because of a new development in his recruitment. The Yale commit is pickup up offers from Kansas an Maryland in recent weeks. He’s bypassed the opportunity to take an official visit to the Terps prior to the early signing period. Instead, he’ll fly to Houston to visit Rice. This one is far from over, but beating out a local Power 5 school for a visit prior to the early signing period is obviously a huge win for Rice.
DJ Warnell – CB – Dickinson (Dickinson, TX) – 2020
Dickinson corner DJ Warnell’s recruitment has picked up quickly this year. Starting with offers from Boston College and Texas Tech in January, Warnell’s offer count has climbed to 16, including a host of Power 5 schools like Arizona and Tennessee. Rice became the most recent to jump into the fray following a visit last week.
Mason Tharp – TE – Klein (TX) – 2021
Three freshmen in the current 2019 class have played in every game this season. One of them, Jack Bradley, plays tight end. It’s no coincidence that a school which runs more two-tight end and three-tight end sets than most every other school in the nation makes the position a priority.
For 2021, Rice has set its sights on Mason Tharp. The 6-foot-7 big man plays center on the basketball team and has plus athleticism. He can play in-line or split out and he’s a bruiser in the running game.
DJ Arkansas – LB – Ryan (Denton, TX) – 2021
Rice thinks they’ve identified a premier pass rusher in Denton Ryan-product DJ Arkansas. The Owls’ were the first school to offer Arkansas, knowing he was the right fit for the program early on. They’ve been cautious with the offers extended to anyone in the 2021 class to this point, making Arkansas a clear priority. He loved his first gameday visit and has had nothing but positive things to say about the program and the staff.
Arkansas, along with Tharp and Cibolo Steele QB Wyatt Begeal, are the only three offers the Owls have extended to members of the 2021 class.
Filling out the class
There were 10 non-highschool additions to the 2019 Rice Football recruiting class. JUCO transfers Brad Rozner, Naeem Smith and Miles McCord and seven grad transfers, most notably three offensive linemen and quarterback Tom Stewart complimented the predominantly young influx of talent.
The total number of veteran additions might not be as high as 10, but the staff is keeping their eye on the Transfer Portal for the right kind of instant-impact players to add to the 2020 class. There’s a good chance the Owls pursue a quarterback, offensive lineman and wide receiver, and possibly a few other positions where they’ll be thinner than they’d like to be next fall.Become a member and join The Roost. Stay plugged into the latest happenings in Rice Football with practice notes, player interviews and recruiting updates. We are your No. 1 source for Rice Athletics News.
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