May 19, 2010
Rice senior offensive tackle Scott Mitchell and senior defensive lineman Scott Solomon have been tabbed by Phil Steele's College Football Preview as preseason All C-USA first team selections in the publication that was delivered to the national media on Wednesday.
The two seniors were joined by seven teammates who were picked by Steele and his staff as either second, third or fourth-team selections. Senior Cheta Ozugwu, juniors Travis Bradshaw and Kyle Martens and sophomore Sam McGuffie were named to the preseason C-USA second team. Junior offensive guard Davon Allen was named to the third team, while fellow junior guard Jake Hicks and sophomore running back Charles Ross were placed on the fourth team.
Mitchell has been a fixture at left tackle for the Owls since he arrived on campus as a 17-year old late signee in July of 2007. Despite weighing just 245 pounds at the time, he stepped into a starting role for the final five games of the 2007 season and enters the 2010 season with 30 consecutive starts. He earned second team All C-USA honors from both the league and Phil Steele after his junior season, which saw him shift to right tackle for four games after injuries struck other members of the offensive line.
Solomon was a second team All C-USA pick last year by league coaches after leading conference defensive linemen with 63 tackles. He was credited with a career-best 6.5 sacks last season (9th best total in school history) and his 15.5 career sacks rank fourth in school history. He was tied for sixth with .54 sacks per game and tied with fellow DE Cheta Ozougwu for eighth in the league with an average of .88 tackles for loss per game. He closed out the season by racking up 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks in the last three games.
Bradshaw led the nation in tackles last season with an average of 7.5 unassisted stops per game and led Conference USA with 90 solo tackles. He topped double figures in tackles seven times in 2009 nad finished the year with 121 tackles to tie for eighth best in Rice history. Ozouguw set career-highs for tackles (61), tackles for loss (10.5) and sacks (4.5) in 2009. He ranked second among C-USA defensive linemen with 61tackles and piled up 39 of them over the last six games (eight for loss). Martens was a Ray Guy Award candidate in 2009 and named to Steele's midseason All C-USA second team. He was Fourth in C-USA and 16th nationally with a 43.4 average. He averaged 50 yards per punt on nine kicks vs. Tulsa to match the third best effort in school history. McGuffie will make his debut with the Owls this fall after transferring back home to Houston. He rushed for 486 yards as a freshman at Michigan.
Allen started all 12 games for the Owls at left guard in 2009. Hicks was limited to seven starts at right guard after missing five games during the middle of the year because of an injury. He started 10 games at right tackle as a redshirt freshman in 2008. Ross finished fifth among all freshmen in the NCAA last season with 11 rushing touchdowns, which were also the most by a Rice running back since 2004.
The Owls will open training camp for the 2010 football season on Saturday, August 7 and kickoff their 99th season of football on Saturday, September 4 when they host Texas at Reliant Stadium in front of a national television audience on ESPN. Kickoff is set for 2:30.