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Training Camp '16 Daily Report August 15-16

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 Practices #11 & 12

Full pads

7:30-9:15 a.m. (Tuesday)

Days to Kickoff: 16

Current Owls Birthdays: none

Former Owls Birthdays: (August 16) Former All-SWC guard and four-year letterman (1992-95) Chris Cooley. (August 15) Former end and two-year letterman Howard Ayers (1963-64) and former offensive lineman Joe L. Davis (1997, 99-00).   

 In Brief:  Technical issue caused rendered us unable to deliver a report on Monday, thus to multiple birthdays listed above.  Tuesday saw a return to the morning practice schedule which will remain in place for the remainder of O-Week.  Tuesday also saw a continuation of the recent weather pattern, forcing the Owls on to the turf at Rice Stadium and then forcing a premature end to drills in the 16th period because of lightning.  

 Anniversary of the Day:  Two years ago today, David Bailiff and the Owls accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge from the parents of O.J. Brigance: https://youtu.be/fA8zxSn8kdw?list=PLWCcM2etYHnglZCHAyV44nnW7WfL9apfv

 Quotes of the Day:

Running Back Jowan Davis: (after Monday's practice)"It was pretty good to get out there on Saturday and feel the real contact again. It's one thing during camp to be smart (about contact), but taking someone to the ground is real football. It was great to be doing the one thing I've wanted to do my whole life which is to play college football at the highest level. We were having fun.  We didn't start the way we wanted to as an offense (during Red Zone period), but we picked it up and had great tempo.  We were making plays left and right and feel like we came out on top.  We had a bit of a rough one today, but every other day I feel like we've gotten better with each practice. I like the feeling we have this year.  It's so much different than last year. Even when we are not at practice, everybody is together, laughing and joking around.  We had some of that last year, but this year feels like everybody is on the same page. It's not just one group that is leading. You see a lot of the younger guys coaching each other up."

Defensive End Graysen Schantz : (after Tuesday's practice) "I'm excited to be back out there with the team, playing fast, playing hard.  I ready for the season. You can't really think about that stuff (pacing yourself because of past injury). If you get hurt, you get hurt, but you have to play fast. The guys did well last year with what they had.  They didn't have much experience, but now that everybody has a year under their belt, we're ready to get after them this year and really start putting the pressure on. I wish I could have been with them last year but that's in the past now and we have to move forward.  I try to be a role model for the younger guys and someone to model their game after. I try to work hard and lead by example."

 Up Next:  O-Week activities come to Tudor Fieldhouse on Tuesday Night with the Rice Rally.   

Training Camp '16 Daily Report August 13

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Practice #10

Full pads

9:00-10:30 a.m.  Rice Stadium

Days to Kickoff: 18

Current Owls Birthdays: none

Former Owls Birthdays:  none.

 In Brief:  The Owls made what will become a familiar trek down the ramp from the Patterson Center to the turf of Rice Stadium for the first time on Saturday for the first scrimmage of their 2106 training camp. Mother Nature again proved kind, dismissing an early threat of a shower while keeping a cover of clouds.  

Photo Gallery: http://www.riceowls.com/view.gal?id=196059

Video Highlights: http://www.riceowls.com/collegesportslive/?media=534100

 Stat(s) of the Day:  

Defense-

Brandon Douglas 1 INT;  Brian Womac 1 Sack; Emmanuel Ellerbe 1 PBU J.T. Ibe 1 PBU

Rushing-
Austin Walter 5 attempts/67 yds (1 TD); Darik Dillard 9 attempts/51 yds (2 TD); Emmanuel Esukpa 9 attempts/34 yds (1 TD); Jowan Davis 9 attempts/28 yds (1 TD); Tyler Stehling 5 attempts/14 yds; Nashon Ellerbe 1 attempts/13 yds; Jackson Tyner 5 attempts/12 yds; Darrion Pollard 1 attempt/2 yds; J.T. Granato 2 attempts/0 yds; Sam Glaesmann 1 attempt/0 yds

Passing-

Tyler Stehling 11-of-18, 123 yds, 1 TD; J.T. Granato 4-of-7, 64 yds, 1 TD, 1 Int.; Jackson Tyner 6-of-10, 81 yds; Sam Glaesmann 3-of-6, 18 yds

Receiving-
Zach Wright 3-61 yds; Trevor Long 1-50 yds, 1 TD; Temi Alaka 2-38 yds, 1 TD; Darrion Pollard 4-30 yds; Austin Walter 3-21 yds; Kylen Granson 1-17 yds; Cameron Johnson 2-16 yds; Cameron Decell 1-13 yds; Darik Dillard 2-12 yds; T.J. Gotelli 1-11 yds; Emmanuel Esukpa 1-10 yds; Jordan Myers 2-7 yds; James Mayden 1-0 yds.

Scoring Plays-
Jowan Davis 1 yd run; Darik Dillard 1 yd run; Emmanuel Esukpa 14 yd run; Austin Walter 48 yd run; Tyler Stehling to Temi Alaka- 34 yds; Darik Dillard 27 yd run; J.T. Granato to Trevor Long- 50 yds

 Quotes of the Day:

Head Coach David Bailiff: (Overall) "We're right where we need to be. As a head coach, you walk off this field pleased because you saw success on both sides of the football. We had 100 plays and it was done with great effort. When we grade this video, we're not going to see a lot of deductions for lack of effort.  For our first scrimmage, we were extremely clean.  We saw early in this scrimmage where the defense was really dominating. The offense kept chipping away and towards the end we were having some big offensive plays."

(Defense) "You have to remember that last year so many of them were freshmen.  Now they're sophomores so they're growing up and maturing. They understand the game now. When you're a freshmen and in two-a-days, the game is really fast. Now through repetition and their hard work, it's slowing down for them and they are able to make some plays and do some things that we were not capable of doing last year."

(Quarterbacks)"I thought Tyler Stehling kept getting better throughout the scrimmage. I thought Jackson Tyner was very consistent with his play.  J.T. Granato started a little slow but as the scrimmage went on he hit a rhythm.  No doubt that Tyler is our starter and the next two are competing for that second spot."

(Offensive Line) "I thought the offensive line performed well with their protections> I've been really encouraged by the second offensive line. We're going to have some quality depth if we need it.  Right now, Isaiah Edwards is running at two at tackle, but he can also move over to play guard. Joseph Dill is a true freshman but he's already in the two-deep on the second offensive line."

(Moving from here) "This next week is when roles are starting to be developed, first team, second team, who's being redshirted, who's getting on the bus and who is going to play. This next week is a critical week for us.  Some of the guys will be happy with the roles they have after this week, some of them won't. You'll see an uptick of effort and guys competing to try and climb that depth chart."

Offensive Guard Peter Godber: "It's exciting for me personally (to scrimmage today), because all during camp, the defense has been saying 'you hold all the time'. Being able to really hit someone today and seeing that it's not a hold--I never got called today--was exciting for me. I'm from Canada so this (weather) is what I am used to. This is the way football should be played."

Post Scrimmage:  Another tradition, as Coach Bailiff and the Owls entertained a group of former lettermen and other supporters of the program for lunch.  Later on Saturday, the team will join with members of the soccer and volleyball teams to host Owl fans at the second annual Fan Fest.

 Up Next:  Sunday is traditionally a day off, but from many of the Owls, they'll be getting in an additional lifting session as they help move in the 2016 freshman class which also heralds the beginning of O-Week on campus.  

Training Camp '16 Daily Report August 12

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Practice #8

Helmets, shoulder pads and shorts

7:30-9:35 a.m.  Grass Practice Field

Days to Kickoff: 19

Current Owls Birthdays: Linebacker Josh Rahman (22)

Former Owls Birthdays:  A pair of three-year letterman: 1955 co-captain Marshall Crawford and 1972 George R. Brown Award winner for linemen Bart Goforth.

 In Brief:  The pace backed off some on Friday morning in advance of Saturday's first scrimmage and Mother Nature also chipped in with some cloud cover and cooling breezes that momentarily gave the appearance of a date other than the middle of August.

Quote of the Day:

Cornerback J.T. Blasingame: "Last year was such a disappointment and I wanted to be more of a leader this year coming into camp.  We were young (last year in the secondary) but now those guys all have a year under their belt.  We're playing a lot faster, the calls are coming in quicker and everyone is really playing great.  That was the main goal, to build some continuity from the game experience. When I first came here, we had some great leaders in guys like Phillip Gaines, Bryce Callahan and Alex Francis and I try to take pieces from everybody and try to help the team where it's needed most. If there is a day we need energy, I'll try to be the energy guy.  Just pick it up where it's needed. Try to be the guy to give a little spark to the day.  I just try to build confidence in them. That's the one thing, you have to go out there confident when you are at cornerback. I try to work with them and tell them when they are great and when to work on their weaknesses, but don't; get on them to the point where it gets into their heads. You want them eager to work on their mistakes, but to always stay confident about the ability to do the job. At corner, you have to wipe your mind cleanly whether you make a good play or a bad play. You can't let a good play make you lose focus and get sloppy on your technique and the same goes for a bad play.  Wipe your mind and move on to the next play."

 Up Next:  After some position song challenges last night , Karaoke Week continues tonight during dinner, followed by a presentation from Pro Football Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams.  In addition to the first opportunity of the fall to get some fully live reps on tape, the Owls will also host private lunch for some lettermen and donors.  Later in the day after a short afternoon practice to go over corrections from the scrimmage. The team will join with the members of the soccer and volleyball squads for the second annual Rice Fan Fest from 6-8 pm at Rice Stadium.   

Training Camp '16 Daily Report August 11

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Practice #7

Full pads

7:30-9:35 a.m.  Grass Practice Field

Days to Kickoff: 20

Current Owls Birthdays: 

Former Owls Birthdays:  Three-year letterman and grandfather of current Owl Jackson Tyner, Tom Tyner (1965-67) and defensive end Greg Cannady (1976)

Special Guests: Campers from Primrose School of West Cinco Ranch. Also a shout out to KPRC-TV and KTRK-TV who send out crews to the afternoon practice on Wednesday.  

 In Brief:  Busy morning at Rice Stadium as in addition to the seventh practice of training camp in football, the R Room hosted a press conference to officially announce the trip to Cuba by the Rice baseball team in November.

 Stat of the Day:  The Morning Stretch, America's most popular live coverage of college football pre-practice stretching shattered its previous record with 412 live viewers this morning.    

 Quote of the Day:

Wide Receiver Darrion Pollard: "Because of the various injuries I've had, this is actually one of the first times I've been able to come out and participate with my teammates in a Fall Camp.  There is no better feeling than to be able to be out here and compete with these guys. The adrenaline is always pumping, especially being a senior. It's a great opportunity. There are a few guys who like to say things like 'it's about time you actually got back on the field' but it's all love out here.  It's all friendly and I love it. The biggest thing I see this year is the team camaraderie. I don't think I've seen this kind of chemistry since I have been at Rice. Not just between position groups, but between the entire team. Everyone is just brothers out here. We're all out here playing the same game and we are doing it together.  The energy level is always high, there is just nothing better. (Someone watching practice) might hear a lot of talking back and forth, but we know what buttons to push and which ones not to push. At the end of practice, we're shaking hands. Whatever goes on between the lines, we come of the field together, because that's what brothers do."

 Up Next:  Karaoke Week moves into its fourth night while the team preps for a final morning practice on Friday before the first scrimmage of camp on Saturday.  The scrimmage kicks off a flurry of weekend activity which includes the second annual Fan Fest at Rice Stadium on Saturday and then the arrival of the incoming freshman class of students on Sunday when the team will assist with the newcomers move-in.    

Training Camp '16 Daily Report August 10

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Practice #6

Full pads

7:30-9:35 a.m.  Grass Practice Field

Days to Kickoff 22

Former Owls Birthdays:  Two-year letterman Gary Poage (1960-61), who led the Owls in catches in 1961.

Special Guests:  Former Owl and current Houston Texans defensive tackle Christian Covington

 In Brief:  The Owls hit the field this morning for the first of two practices today. Coach Bailiff continues to be impressed with the team's work ethic and play on the field.

 Quote of the Day:

Defensive Tackle Preston Gordon: "I feel real comfortable. I also feel like I'm in a position where I can help those who are in my position (last year), where they may be a little uncomfortable. I think I have a responsibility to help guys like Myles (Adams) and Will (Phillips). I can help them understand that the game is not too fast, too get on board and that they can play. (Last year) I grew more comfortable with the team. They integrated me in. The game was kind of fast when I started. As the season went on, I got more comfortable. I try to get as many guys as I can and I feed off of other guy's energy."

 Quote of the Day II:

Head Coach David Bailiff: "I have really liked (the player's) worth ethic and the way they've come out here. They've come out here with a great mental attitude. They're crisp. They're sharp. They're focused. What I really like is how our seniors are encouraging the young guys. You see them coaching the guys, trying to accelerate they're learning out here. I'm pleased with the ball security. I'm pleased with how hard the defense is chasing the football. This is our first day of two-a-days so we took a little bit off of them, knowing that they have to come back and have another go at this."

 Shameless Plug:  Tune in each morning of training camp to the "Morning Stretch" with the Rice Owls on Periscope.   The audience keeps growing and we do take requests if you have a favorite player you want to see in action.

 Up Next:  The Owls conclude their first day of two-a-days with a walk-through tonight at 5 p.m.


Training Camp '16 Daily Report August 9

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Practice #5

Full pads

7:30-9:35 a.m.  Grass Practice Field

Days to Kickoff 23

Current Owls Birthdays: Cornerback Lawrence Cimmino (21) and kicker Kevin Tracy (21)

Former Owls Birthdays:  Two former Owls cornerbacks: Two-year letterman (81-82) Antoine Arbuckle and four-year letterman (1988-91) and 1988 Lipscomb Award winner Terry Thornton.

Special Guests:  Former running back/H-back Jeremy Eddington and former Texans first round selection Travis Johnson.

Notable:  The branding marks outside the Patterson Center are now in place and late this afternoon, the new Daktronics video board flashed to life for the first time.

 In Brief:  The deadest of calms hung over the practice field as the Owls emerged from the Patterson Center for their first day in full pads. But despite the intense level of mugginess in the still air, head coach David Bailiff praised the team at the end of the workout for their sustained effort through all 19 periods.    

 Quote of the Day:

Tight End Robby Wells III: "It (adding 30 pounds to his frame during a redshirt year) has given me a lot more confidence about my physical abilities especially when it comes to blocking or coming inside the trenches and taking on a linebacker. I have more strength to rely on and my technique has gotten better. I have this opportunity now and I want to help the team any way I can. I need to take advantage of this opportunity. At the end of the day, I felt a lot more confident coming into camp and I think it's been going well so far. I'm excited for this season and how far this team can go. It's definitely a lot easier to move some of those bigger bodies around. Blaine Padgett is a huge guy and last year it was a struggle for me to block him. This year it's a lot more doable. I've noticed it's a lot easier to block my guys now. It's taken some getting used to when it comes to the tempo of the offense and running the routes, but overall it feels great and I'm glad I was able to get to the weight the coaches wanted. It's made me a much better player. Two years ago, I could tell people I used to play quarterback and they would say they could see that. But now people would say 'no way!' I love the tight end position and Coach Sloan is so awesome to learn from. I owe it to the coaches who put the faith in me that I could have made this switch. I'm definitely glad I did."

 Shameless Plug:  With 175 live viewers and nearly as many replays as of this posting, the "Morning Stretch" continues to be a popular way to start the morning with the Owls on Periscope.  Ours is not to explain or evaluate, just to take our spot on the field each morning and respond to requests from family and friends to seek out their favorites for an up close glimpse.   

 Up Next:  Night Two of Karaoke will have a tough standard to match as freshman Myles Adams set the bar high on the opening night. No matter the level of entertainment provided, A good night's sleep will be the goal with a pair of practices set for Wednesday.   

Training Camp '16 Daily Report August 8

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Practice #4

Shorts, shoulder pads and helmets

7:30-9:45 a.m.  Grass Practice Field

Days to Kickoff 24

Current Owls Birthdays: 0

Former Owls Birthdays:  0

References to Michael Phelps epic turn in the 400 meter relay on Sunday:  multiple

Volunteers to race Katie Ledecky:  0

Special Guests:  Nico Carlson, a starter at guard on the 2013 C-USA Champions.

 In Brief:  Rice returned to the practice field on Monday after a day of meetings on Sunday. After practice, the freshmen joined with the freshmen from the soccer team for the annual Newcomers Luncheon with members of the Rice University staff at Martel Commons.   

 Quote of the Day:

Strong Safety Tabari McGaskey: "In the spring there was a lot more frustration because I wanted the transition (from linebacker to strong safety) to happen a little faster than it was taking. Footwork was never something I worked on in the past, but I spent a lot of time working on footwork this summer and the transition has been a lot smoother. I'm having a lot more fun out here now than in the spring. I'm not feeling awkward now. It's been a good transition and I'm looking to see how far I can go at strong safety. Coming from the defensive line in high school, I never trusted my athleticism, but it's what allowed me to first switch to linebacker. I like the chance to make plays on deep balls, but as a defensive lineman or linebacker it was always easy to ask why the DB's aren't breaking up those passes. But now I know it's a lot harder and a real challenge, but when you get an interception, it's pretty exciting. I don't want to be that guy who drops an interception, so I am putting in a lot more practice with the JUGS machine and things like that."

 Shameless Plug:  Tune in each morning of training camp to the "Morning Stretch" with the Rice Owls on Periscope.   The audience keeps growing and we do take requests if you have a favorite player you want to see in action.

 Up Next:  Dinner on Monday night will take on a familiar off key tone with the return of the Karaoke machine, which has provided some memorable performances over years.   The level of football steps up on Tuesday morning when the Owls pull on the full set of pads for the first time.  

Training Camp '16 Daily Report August 6

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Practice #3

Shorts, shoulder pads and helmets

7:30-9:45 a.m.  Grass Practice Field

Days to Kickoff 25

Current Owls Birthdays: 0

Former Owls Birthdays:  Four-year letterman Bryan Phillips (1977-80)

 In Brief:  After hearing from NASA Astronaut Clayton Anderson during a post-dinner presentation on Friday night, the first sounds of contact came to camp as the Owls donned their shoulder pads for the first time during a two-plus hour workout on the grass practice field.  

 Quotes of the Day:

Head Coach David Bailiff: "His (Clayton Anderson) story is absolutely amazing. It's one of goal-setting.  It's one of perseverance. He applied to be an astronaut 15 years in a row and was denied. But instead of giving up, he kept building up his resume until NASA had to say "yes".  I think he just outlasted them. To have a man talk to the team who has done three space walks and who has lived in the space station for 152 days. That takes a mental toughness and a grit. His message is inspiring.

Offensive Lineman Connor Patterson: "This is the fifth camp for Brandon Dawkins and myself and we're the guys who need to step up and be leaders.  Trey and Peter and Calvin have all played a significant amount of time and Sam as well, but we are the ones who need to step up and lead the way. It's exciting to be that guy.  Andrew Reue was in front of me the last couple of years and he taught me a lot about leadership. I hope I can step up and be like Andrew and lead these guys. When we came in, we had guys like Luke Willson, Taylor McHargue, Phillip Gaines  all the guys who had come in when there was nothing going on and brought Rice Football to a place where we were winning bowl games. I was there for the first bowl game. After three bowl games, I honestly think we got complacent. We thought it was just going to be given to us because we were the new version of Rice Football. Last year we kind of fell off. So now understand that we've had those highs and we've had the lows. Going into the year the goal is to focus on the highs and eliminate the lows."

 Shameless Plug:  Tune in each morning of training camp to the "Morning Stretch" with the Rice Owls on Periscope.   The audience keeps growing and we do take requests if you have a favorite player you want to see in action.

 Up Next:  Meetings, weights and walk-throughs are the order of the day for the rest of Saturday and Sunday as the Owls will take a day off from the heat and humidity.  They will be back on the field first thing Monday morning for the first practice in full pads. 

Training Camp '16 Daily Report August 5

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Practice #2

Shorts and helmets

7:30-9:30 a.m.  Grass Practice Field

Days to Kickoff 26

Current Owls Birthdays: 0

Former Owls Birthdays:  QB and team captain Robby Shelton (1966-68) and offensive lineman Mike Applebaum (1989-92).

 In Brief:  A quick turnaround after an evening practice on Thursday saw the special teamers back on the practice field on Friday as the sun was just rising over campus. A few issues with players cramping, but no major issues.  Team continues to break in the new Patterson Center and Friday afternoon will be their first time to hold lifting sessions in the new weight room.

 Quotes of the Day:

Defensive Lineman Zach Abercrumbia: "Last year, I was a little naive to how much conditioning you need to play at this level and to play well. Now I know what to expect, how the days are going to go. I now know how long the days can be and that you have to tough it out. The little things really matter, things I took for granted in high school. Things like being sure to jump in the ice tub after practice, which is something I didn't do that much last year. I learned that it definitely helps the recovery process. That's a big thing I learned. You can't go 100% every day without helping your body recover. I have told the new freshmen that things are not going to go the way you think they will. You will have things that might not seem important, but everything we do out here is for a reason, whether its stretching, the extra work, the walk-throughs. I say walk-throughs, but they are extremely hard mental reps. You have to stay focused to be in the right place at the right time. When you get to this level, talent is everywhere.  It's he guys who have technique and who give the extra effort are the ones who will separate themselves from the rest."

 Up Next:  The team moves into a consistent schedule for the next week, with workouts at 7:30 through next Friday, but the intensity ramps up a level on Saturday morning as the Owls will pull on the shoulder pads for the first time this camp. 

 

Training Camp '16 Daily Report

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Practice #1

Shorts and helmets

5:00-7:00  Grass Practice Field

Days to Kickoff 27

Current Owls Birthdays: 0

Former Owls Birthdays: 0
Special Guest: Former Owl and recent "America Ninja Warrior" contestant Gabe Baker stopped in for the end of practice to get a glimpse of the new setup.

 In Brief:  On a day that began with breakfast at 6, followed by team and individual photos inside Rice Stadium and then the annual media day, the Owls put their new Brian Patterson Performance Center home through its first practice routine paces as the Owls stepped out the back door of their locker room and on to the grass practice field for a two-hour workout.

 Quotes of the Day:

Head Coach David Bailiff:  "We didn't come out here and just survive it, we came out and got better in the heat.   You saw some of the younger players a little over-excited.  We have to calm their enthusiasm since we are not in pads, but you'd rather calm them down than have to jazz them up."

 

Quarterback Tyler Stehling: "I definitely prepared a little bit harder (this offseason) for this for four years since I've been here. I watched a lot of film, just staying in the playbook, just getting the ins and outs of this offense. That's probably the biggest preparation I did."

 Up Next:  A short turnaround with Practice #2 set for 7:30 in the morning as the teams slips into their normal routine for the next week. 

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