The 2021 Rice Football recruiting class has picked up their first commitment from a wide receiver. Alabama native Peyton Stevenson has committed to the Owls.
Rice football has been on the hunt for pass catchers to add to the 2021 class for some time. Tight end Jaggar Hebeisen was one of the first in the fold during the spring, but the Owls had yet to secure a pledge from a wide receiver as the calendar crept out of the summer and towards the fall.
Then Rice offered Demopolis, AL wide receiver Peyton Stevenson on Sep. 10. A week later the big-bodied pass catcher had pledged his commitment to the Owls. Stevenson will fill a pressing need on the outside, giving Rice some more options to “rebound” and outjump defenders in the redzone. Brad Rozner has taken up that role for the time being, but he won’t be around forever.
With his decision, Stevenson becomes the second quickest from offer to commit in the 2021 recruiting class. Only Ethan Onianwa who committed two days after his offer was quicker. The rest of class, which is likely more typical of college recruiting these days, took weeks to sift through their options. Stevenson clearly knew what he was after an made the jump.
“The academic excellence as well as the high caliber football is what initially turned my head,” Stevenson said, “I was also comfortable with the coaching staff because of the way they communicated and the effort they put into me and my family. I felt like it was a great opportunity, and I’m glad to be a part of the family!”
Rice also continued their trend of identifying talent early. The Owls were the first FBS program to offer Stevenson, who also had offers from Jacksonville State, North Alabama and Culver-Stockton and the time of his Rice commitment.
Versatility is a huge plus in the Rice football offense. Stevenson’s playmaking ability with the ball in his hands as a quarterback will only aid to what he’s able to do as a wide receiver. This was a good pickup for the Owls who now have 12 commitments and a Top 5 class among their Conference USA peers.