Rice football returned to practice for the first of several weeks of spring ball. Here are a few notes from the Owls’ first day back on the grass.
First off, it might not be purely football related, but Antonio Montero was wearing short sleeves and shorts in 40-degree weather. The Minnesota native was giving his more southern teammates a hard time.
1. Position changes, notes
- Cam Montgomery is at running back.
- Sam Glaesmann remains at wide receiver
- Cameron Valentine moves to nose tackle
- D’Angelo Ellis at corner, not listed on the offensive depth chart
- Cole Garcia and Nick Leverett only players listed as starters with no backup on the two-deep
2. Offensive line and running backs
Juma Otoviano, Aston Walter and Cam Montgomery all had explosive plays during practice, bursting through big holes and accelerating downfield. That’s a credit to their speed, but also because of a more physical offensive line. JUCO transfer Nick Leverett is entrenched along the right side, most likely at right guard. Clay Servin looks like the real deal at left tackle.
Nashon Ellerbe missed most of last season with a nagging lower-body injury. He doesn’t appear to be 100 percent this spring. With Jawan King on his way, he’ll have to battle to get meaningful minutes.
3. All three JUCO transfers flash
In addition to Leverett, Naeem Smith and Bradley Rozner both made a few nice plays on their respective sides of the ball. Smith won the offseason conditioning program and has drawn rave reviews from several coaches all spring. Rozner made an impressive athletic catch down the sideline and seems to be slotting in well on the outside.
4. Quarterback remains a wait and see
Wiley Green will enter spring as the QB1 with Evan Marshman his primary competition. We really won’t know for sure if Green has secured the starting job before grad transfer Tom Stewart and freshman Jovoni Johnson get to campus later this summer. Still, Green threw some nice balls and made a few plays with his legs on Monday.