Rice football attended its first-ever American Athletic Conference Media Day this week, marking the unofficial beginning of a much-anticipated 2023 season.
Myron Morrison couldn’t hold back a smile. One of four representatives selected by the Rice football coaching staff to attend media days for the American Athletic Conference, Morrison glanced down at the newly embroidered “A” on the chest of his blue and gray jersey and tried to take it all in.
Morrison and the Owls unofficially kicked off their inaugural season as members of the AAC this week during the conference media days, a gathering of 14 programs in Arlington, Texas, some new to the Owls and others very familiar.
“It’s still what happens between those lines, it’s still the same [game],” Morrison said. “But it’s always nice to have a fresh change of scenery.”
The new scenery includes a slue of new logos and new faces with some familiar foes mixed in for good measure. Like, Rice everyone is adjusting to their new environment, but the messaging was consistent from top to bottom. The Owls, like everyone else, are here to compete and AAC commissioner Mike Aresco was quick to point out the lengthy history of successes that have come out of this conference in recent seasons.
Along with Morrison, head coach Mike Bloomgren, quarterback JT Daniels and edge rusher Joshua Pearcy took their turns in front of the microphones and cameras. Much of the traditional preseason topics were discussed, ranging from offseason routines to anticipation for the upcoming campaign. Through it all though, an underlying current of anticipation was palpable.
Bloomgren said as much during his scheduled time at the podium.
“I’m excited to be bringing this team into the American Athletic Conference,” he said. “I have all the respect in the world for the great players and coaches in this league.”
McCaffrey echoed as much in his remarks soon afterward. “I think this is so special for us,” he said. “It’s a great step in the right direction for Rice Athletics altogether.”
There’s a lot at stake for Rice in 2023. They have expectations of another bowl berth and reiterated their expressed goal of contending for a conference championship. Following years of building, both the program and its fans would love nothing more than for those dreams to come to fruition. Now all that’s left is to play the games.
Hear more from each of the players, Bloomgren and coaches and players from around the league on our AAC Media Days Live Show with JP Heath.
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