by Chuck Pool (firstname.lastname@example.org) -
Senior punter Jack Fox, who lead Conference USA with a 44. 2 average as a junior leads a group of three players who have been named to Athlon Sports preseason All-Conference USA team. Fox is joined by running back Austin Walter and defensive tackle Roe Wilkins.
Fox earned second team all-conference honors last year after a late charge allowed him to lead conference as well as rank 15th nationally. Fox averaged 48.3 over the last three games, booting six of 10 for better than 50 yards and captured the conference title by averaging 50.2 on four punts vs. North Texas. His 50.2 mark vs. the Mean Green ranks four on the Rice single game chart while his 44.2 season mark tied Mark Brundage (2009) for fifth on the season chart. He enters his senior year with a 42.2 career average which ranks third on the Rice career list behind 2010 AFCA All-America Kyle Martens (43.0) and James Farrimond (42.4).
In addition to his punting duties, Fox averaged 63.1 yards per kickoff with 69% going for touchbacks (72/29) and improvement from 45% in his first two seasons (50/110).
Walter and Wilkins were each named to Athlon’s third team.
Walter earned honorable mention honors from C-USA coaches after leading the team with 697 all-purpose yards and finishing second with 400 yards rushing, despite the switch to wide receiver... Topped 1,000 career rushing yards with a career-long, 70-yard touchdown run at UAB... Combined with Jackson Tyner on a 70-yard TD reception at Pitt to become the first Owl to have two plays from scrimmage of at least 70 yards since Jordan Taylor in 2013.
Wilkins lead C-USA interior defensive linemen with a career-high 6.5 sacks in 2017 to earn honorable mention All-C-USA honors. His 6.5 sacks all came in conference action and tied for 10th with Scott Solomon on the Rice single-season list.
Rice opens the Mike Bloomgren era on August 25 when the Owls host Prairie View A&M at Rice Stadium.
Season tickets for the 2018 campaign featuring six home games start at $100 and are available online or by calling the Rice Athletics Ticket Office at (713) 348-OWLS. For additional ticket and game day information for the 2018 football season, please visit the football ticket page.