Rice football picked up a commitment from another big transfer target, landing former Ouachita Baptist offensive lineman Justin Gooseberry.
Getting bigger and stronger on the offensive line was a priority once again for Rice this offseason. Ouachita Baptist transfer Justin Gooseberry fits that bill and has committed to play his final year of eligibility at South Main. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound offensive lineman joins Regan Riddle (6-foot-1, 284 pounds), Hunter Jones (6-foot-3, 270 pounds), Nick Leverett (6-foot-4, 312 pounds) and Brian Chaffin (6-foot-2, 275 pounds). That’s a lot of size.
For as long as Mike Bloomgren is at the helm, the ethos of Rice football will aspire to be built on hard-nosed running and defense. Getting to that point is a process; one that Rice is further along today than they were at this point last year. Taking the next step on that road requires a dominant offensive line. Gooseberry can play a critical role in making that hope a reality.
Gooseberry played his college ball at Ouachita Baptist, a DII school in Arkansas. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound offensive lineman was a fixture on the Tigers’ offensive line in 2018 and was tabbed an All-American by multiple media outlets including the Division II Conference Commissioners Association and the American Football Coaches Association.
Adding Gooseberry to fellow grad transfers Nick Leverett and Brian Chaffin as well as Shea Baker, Clay Servin and Cole Garcia will makeup a formidable offensive line. It will also give the coaching staff the develop the younger guys at their own pace, rather than have to thrust players into the fire — something that became all-too prevalent in 2018.
Mike Bloomgren is doubling down on the offensive line and Gooseberry will be a welcomed addition.