Spring Game set for March 30
Football coaching staff
Rice won its C-USA opener at North Texas on September 19
Rice Football hosted its annual women's clinic on August 27.
The Rice Owls held their second scrimmage of their 2014 training camp on Saturday morning
Shots from the first week of 2014 training camp
For the seventh consecutive year, the Rice football team helped the incoming freshmen class move in.
Former All-Pro tight end David Sloan enters his fourth season of coaching the Owls tight ends in 2014, continuing to build the brand of the position inside the Rice offensive attack.
In 2014, Sloan was forced to shuffle his lineup as returning starter Connor Cella was lost to an injury. However thanks to solid contributions by Cole Hunt and Robby Wells in Cella's absence in addition to Cella's return to health as well as the incorporation of Luke Turner into the several offensive sets, Sloan heads into 2015 will multiple options. While Sloan was juggling his lineup in 2014, one of his two tight ends to be drafted in 2013 continued to make a name for himself in 2014.
Luke Willson, who joined with Vance McDonald to allow Rice to match Stanford as the only schools to produce a pair of tight end draft picks in 2013, helped spark Seattle to a return trip to the Super Bowl. He caught a game-winning touchdown in the final minute vs. Carolina and then a game-tying, two-point conversion from Russell Wilson during the Seahawks comeback playoff win over Green Bay.
Willson became the sixth Owl to win a Super Bowl ring, starting for Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII and catching a pair of passes for 17 yards against Denver. Willson met McDonald in the NFC title game. McDonald was taken in the second round (55th overall) by the 49ers, the highest draft selection for Rice since Bert Emanuel (a former teammate of Sloan's) in 1994.
McDonald, who saw his 2014 playing time with San Francisco limited by an injury, finished his career ranked in the Owls top ten in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns and became the first Owl since ND Kalu in 1996 to be invited to play in the Senior Bowl. Willson was a four-year starter who was drafted by the Toronto Argos of the CFL prior to his senior year and was a standout in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
Sloan is in his sixth season overall at Rice, having come to campus as a graduate assistant and also serving in a quality control position . When Sloan joined the Owls in 2010, he reunited with Rice head coach David Bailiff, who was on the staff at the University of New Mexico in 1993 when Sloan signed with the Lobos out of junior college.
A two-time Academic All-Conference selection while playing basketball at Fresno City College from 1990-91, Sloan made the jump to football in the fall of 1992.
He caught the eye of Bailiff after catching 13 passes for 254 yards and 4 touchdowns. He signed with New Mexico and earned All-WAC Honorable Mention as a junior in 1993. He improved on that effort as a senior, earning first-Team All-WAC honors and was named one of the Lobos' team co-captains after catching 24 receptions for 320 yards and 1 touchdown during his senior campaign.
After his senior year, he played in the Blue Gray All-Star Game, Senior Bowl and participated in NFL Scouting combine in Indianapolis.
Sloan was selected in the third round of the 1995 by the Detroit Lions and became a starter midway through his rookie season and the Lions won seven straight to earn a playoff spot. He enjoyed his best season in 1999, when he earned a spot in the Pro Bowl after catching 47 passes for 591 yards and four touchdowns as the Lions again reached the playoffs. Sloan started for the NFC in the 2000 Pro Bowl and was named as an alternate in 2001. He led the Lions with seven touchdown passes in 2001. He was signed by New Orleans in 2002 and retired after the 2003 season. He finished his NFL career with 199 receptions, for 2251 yards and 17 touchdowns including seven catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns in three playoff games.
He has two daughters: Trinity (11) and Bentley (9).
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