Rice Football recruiting has filled an immediate need in the backfield with the addition of Jacksonville State running back Uriah West.
Head coach Mike Bloomgren mentioned his team wasn’t yet complete at the conclusion of spring practices. Since that acknowledgment, the incoming Rice football recruiting class has been bolstered by way of the transfer portal, most recently with the commitment of former Jacksonville State running back Uriah West.
Rice did not sign a high school running back in the 2022 class, adding JUCO rusher Dean Connors instead. While Connors was impressive in spring practices, the need to add at least one more trustworthy back became clear by the time camp was winding down. Connors and Juma Otoviano were the only two healthy backs on the roster for the Spring Game.
Enter Uriah West. The Douglasville, GA native averaged 5.7 yards per carry over four seasons at Jacksonville State, tallying 1392 rushing yards, most of which came in his final two seasons where he shared backfield duties with fellow upperclassmen Josh Samuel.
West took a visit to Rice at the end of April, calling Rice “a second home”, praising the intentionality of the coaching staff and speaking positively about his experience at South Main. That trip would prove to be all he needed to make his decision.
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West calls himself a “decisive runner [that is] tough to bring down”. That tenacity shows up in his film. He’s not afraid to run through defenders and is willing to lower his pads and plow forward. West shows burst with the ball in his hands and has 24 career receptions. His versatility will come in handy in a Rice offense that likes to utilized the full breadth of running back abilities.
A few highlights??? pic.twitter.com/QVhs2ChiRY
— Uknoe2️⃣0️⃣ (@uknoe_) April 15, 2022
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