Rice looks to build off strong start: Five Owls to watch in 2020
The Rice Owls hope that a strong finish to 2019 will bode well in 2020 even if they are the last College Football Bowl Subdivision team to kick off the season.
The Owls won their final three games last fall and finished 3-9, including a 3-5 record in Conference USA play. The COVID-19 pandemic forced Rice to play a CUSA-only schedule and kick off on Oct 3 at Marshall.
Rice’s biggest games come late on the road on Oct. 31 at Southern Mississippi and Nov. 14 at Louisiana Tech. Here are five former Texas High School Football stars that look to have big seasons in Houston.
Shea Baker, redshirt junior, Round Rock Cedar Ridge
Baker earned a CUSA Honorable Mention in 2019 after starting 11 games for Rice.
He has made 24 starts in 25 career games and helped Rice rush for 128 yards per contest last season.
Baker was a second-team all-state selection as a senior at Cedar Ridge to go along with earning District 13-6A Offensive Lineman of the Year honors. He was also named the district’s Newcomer of the Year as a junior.
George Nyakwol, senior defensive back, Aldine Eisenhower
Nyakwol broke up six passes last year to go along with a total of 57 tackles.
He posted a total of four interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns, 43 tackles and three forced fumbles during his high school career at Eisenhower. Nyakwol was a two-time all-District 16-6A selection.
Juma Otoviano, redshirt sophomore running back, Arlington Martin
Otoviano played three solid games in 2019 before he redshirted the rest of the season to rehab from offseason surgery.
He averaged 38 yards per game and has 478 yards and three touchdowns on 102 career carries.
Otoviano played quarterback in high school where he threw for more than 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior and rushed for 1,400 and 24 touchdowns as a junior.
Bradley Rozner, redshirt junior wide receiver, Needville
Rozner earned a CUSA Honorable Mention in his first season in Houston after transferring from Cisco Junior College.
He caught 55 passes for 770 yards and five touchdowns, the best best debut season for a Rice wide receiver since 1951. He surpassed the 100-yard receiving mark in four different games.
Rozner posted 805 receiving yards and eight touchdowns as a senior at Needville and earned All-District 12-4A honors.
Austin Trammell, senior wide receiver, Spring Klein
Trammel comes into his final collegiate campaign as a two-time CUSU Honorable Mention.
He led the team in receptions (60), all-purpose yards (1,168), kick return yards (266) and punt return yards (130) last fall to go with four receiving touchdowns.
Trammell had 1,105 yards and 25 touchdowns during his prep career and was a unanimous District 15-6A selection twice.
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