Spring practice has arrived for Rice football. Here’s where each position stands now. Several things could change over the next several weeks.
The 2020 Rice Football spring roster has been released. Depth charts won’t be finalized until the fall, but here’s how the Owls are most likely to line up at the beginning of camp.
In contention: Mike Collins, TJ McMahon, JoVoni Johnson and Wiley Green
Also at spring ball: Robbie Blosser, Evan Marshman and Parker Towns
This position truly is wide open. Collins, Johnson and Green have all started and won D1 football games. McMahon shattered JUCO records last year. All four offer disparate skill sets and we can’t be certain which variation of the Rice offense we’ll see this year. This will be the most-watched position battle of the spring.
Starter: Juma Otoviano
Backup: Jawan King
Also at spring ball: Cam Montgomery, Ari Broussard, Ayden Noriega
Montgomery had some fumbling issues that prevented him from getting on the field last season. Noriega and Broussard redshirted. King did as well, but his absence from the field was driven by the wealth of upperclassmen tailbacks Rice had on the roster last year. Barring a late transfer addition, it’s most likely going to be a two-man show this spring.
Starter: Brendan Suckley
Backup: Luke Armstrong, Jerry Johnson
Suckley became the starter last season after transfer Reagan Williams went down and played well. Johnson appears to be a position switch for the spring.
Starters: Brad Rozner, Austin Trammell, August Pitre
Backups: Zane Knipe, Jake Bailey
Also at spring ball: Chris Boudreaux, Austin Conrad, Jashon Palmer
I’ll be paying close attention to Knipe and Bailey this spring. We only scratched the surface of what both were capable of last year. With Knipe fully healthy, this is his chance to force his way into the starting three. Pitre’s inconsistency has opened up the door. Whether he bounces back or someone else rises up should be interesting to see.
Starters: Jordan Myers, Jaeger Bull
Backup: Jack Bradley
Also at spring ball: Jonathan Sanchez, Robert French, Bennett Mecom
The staff really likes what Bradley was able to do as a true freshman last season. Now in his first spring, his role should only continue to grow. That could put pressure on a guy like Bull.
Starters: Jovaun Woolford, Cole Garcia, Shea Baker, Adam Sheriff, and Clay Servin
Backup/In Contention: Brandt Peterson, Derek Ferraro, Izeya Floyd, Regan Riddle, and Isaac Klarkowski
Also at spring ball: Connor Hughes, Nick Wagman
Rice has more than enough options on the offensive line this spring after running extremely thin this time last year. Floyd’s transition to the offensive side of the ball will be worth keeping an eye on. Beyond that, there’s room for one or two more younger players to emerge and challenge for a spot at guard.
Defensive End / Rush End
Starters: Trey Schuman, Kenneth Orji
Backups: Ikenna Enechukwu, Jacob Doddridge
Also at spring ball: Kebreyun Page, Miles Adams, Josh Pearcy
Orji came on strong last season and should cement his starting role this spring. Page and Pearcy are two developmental guys who have taken big strides during the fall and could be more in the mix this time around.
Starters: Elijah Garcia, De’Braylon Carroll
Backups: JaVante Hubbard, Cam Valentine
Also at spring ball: Will Martinez, Hunter Hanley
Carroll is going to be a starter this season. Watching him go up against an offensive line in the midst of solidifying its rotation could spell trouble for the Rice football offense. How the coaching staff chooses to deploy Garcia and Hubbard should be telling.
Starters: Blaze Alldredge, Antonio Montero
Backups: Garrett Grammer, Myron Morrison, Adrian Bickham
Also at spring ball: Garret Braden
Linebacker might be the deepest position on the team. Alldredge and Montero are locked in as starters, but the rotation could change significantly this year. Morison and Bickham came on strong in the fall. Both should be in the mix.
Starters: Tre’shon Devones, Tyrae Thornton
Backups: Andrew Bird, Jason White
Also at spring ball: Miles McCord, Collin Whitaker
Josh Landrum’s departure made the pecking order at corner pretty clear. Devones and Thornton started the majority of last year. Bird was the next man up with White sliding in at nickel. I don’t foresee any surprises here before the freshmen arrive in the fall.
Starters: George Nyakwol, Naeem Smith, Treshawn Chamberlain
Backups: Prudy Calderon, Isaiah Richardson
Also at spring ball: Jacob Grams, Matthew Sams, Kirk Lockhart, Chike Anigbogu
Another deep position, the backup roles at the safety spots could see some changes. Lockhart appeared in 10 games last season as a true freshman and should push further into the rotation this spring.
Kicker: Will Harrison, Nick McQuarry
Punter: Charlie Mendes
Long Snapper: Cam Riddle
Incoming Stanford transfer Collin Riccitelli will be the placekicker for Rice football in 2020. What the Owls do at the spot before he arrives is unlikely to move the needle much at all.