Rice football has significantly raised their recruiting profile under coach Mike Bloomgren and the best days are still ahead for the Owls.
Much has changed for Rice football since Mike Bloomgren arrived at South Main in the winter of 2017. Beyond practice structures and pregame routines, raising the overall level of talent has been a noticeable improvement.
As demonstrated by the addition of some of the Owls’ biggest recruits in nearly a decade — Blaze Alldredge, Jake Bailey, Tre’shone Devones, Plae Wyatt, Brady Feeney, Braeden Nutter, Khalan Griffin, etc. — playmakers are flocking to Rice with renewed vigor.
It doesn’t just feel like Rice is getting more talented. The recruiting rankings bear out that reality. Take a look at the Owls’ CUSA recruiting finish and the number of three-star recruits signed in the last four seasons leading up to Bloomgren’s first class (2018).
2014 – 7th (in CUSA) – 5 (three-stars)
2015 – 8th – 8
2016 – 14th – 2
2017 – 12th – 3
That’s an average of the No. 10 class in CUSA with four 3-star recruits per cycle. Now let’s look at those numbers alongside Bloomgren’s classes, including the already impressive 2020 haul which ranks first in Conference USA.
2018 – 12th – 9
2019 – 12th – 11
2020 – 1st – 5
That’s an average of the No. 8 class in CUSA with eight 3-star recruits per cycle. If Rice maintains their current pace, they’ll finish with closer to 15 3-star (or better) players in 2020. With that projection factored in, Bloomgren’s first three classes would net an average of 12 3-star recruits in each class that’s TRIPLE the level of talent walking through the doors of the Patterson center compared to the last complete set of recruiting cycles.
Getting talent to campus won’t be worth much if the team doesn’t win. The coaching staff has turned 2-star recruits like Cole Garcia, Clay Servin and Wiley Green into important starting-caliber players. If Rice continues to hit on a few lesser-known recruits each cycle as the ceiling of each class grows, the results will follow.
So if it’s felt like things were different at South Main, that’s because they are.
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