The 2022 Rice Football recruiting classes solidified their tight end haul this week with the commitment of JUCO tight end Boden Groen, formerly of Mater Dei High School in California.
The first wave of 2022 Rice Football commitments came from the high school ranks. Once the Owls had established a base from the younger ranks, they turned toward the Transfer Portal. Rice picked up four transfer additions to the class in December. They’ve now added their first transfer commitment of the New Year in the form of JUCO tight end Boden Groen.
Groen, together with former Cal tight end Gavin Reinwald, provide reinforcements for a tight end room that has experienced a sizable amount of change in the past year. Jordan Myers moved to running back and Jaeger Bull opted to transfer. That leaves Jack Bradley and Robert French as the only remaining players in the tight end room that have seen meaningful snaps in the regular season. Reinforcements were needed and Rice has found them.
Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 230 pounds, Groen appeared in nine games at Saddleback. He caught 14 passes for 152 yards and one touchdown, average 10.9 yards per catch. But that might not paint a complete picture regarding how Rice plans to involve him in the offense.
Groen has already updated his Twitter bio to reflect his recent pledge and it reads very simply, “Rice FB”. Fullbacks don’t exactly grow on trees and often are developed from able players who slide backward from the offensive line or tight end.
Departing tight end Bull is a great example of how the Owls might utilize Groen, primarily as a blocker with the ability to leak out of the formation as needed. The first few clips of his highlight reel showcase that ability. He moves well in the open field and can get to the next level. He’ll fit in well with what Rice wants to do.