Rice football secured the services of a blue-chip grad transfer, receiving a commitment from former Stanford offensive lineman Brian Chaffin.
The offensive line will forever be an emphasis at Rice football as long as Mike Bloomgren is the head coach. Getting the right pieces up front is critical to the success of this offense. The Owls took a big step in making things run even more smoothly in 2019 was the addition of grad transfer center Brian Chaffin.
Chaffin was a coveted center recruit out of high school with offers from Stanford, Northwestern, Duke, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech and others. He missed out on a starting spot at Stanford, but saw action in plenty of games, tallying 28 appearances over three years.
The 6-foot-2, 275-pound North Carolina native will play his final season of college ball at Rice. Where he fits in along the line remains a question. He has the frame and the athleticism to play anywhere on the interior of the line. Moving him over to one of the guard spots would allow the team to keep Shea Baker at center. Baker had an impressive redshirt freshman season in 2018 and figures to be in the mix to start again next season. Regardless, adding another starting-caliber player on the offensive line is a must.
Chaffin’s contributions won’t be limited to on the field production. Recruited directly by Bloomgren to Palo Alto, Chaffin understands as well as anyone the kind of culture and work ethic Rice is working to create. Intellectual Brutality remains a tenet of the Stanford program. A graduate transfer like Chaffin who understands the system and the culture should be well suited for a leadership role.
A high-academic, high-caliber athlete with leadership potential is a slam dunk for Bloomgren and his coaching staff. Chaffin has the potential to be a key cog in the Owls’ rebuilding process in 2019. Not a strong enough endorsement? Here’s Bloomgren himself: