June 23, 2014
Rice defensive tackle Christian Covington has been named by Dave Campbell's Texas Football to its 2014 All-Texas College preseason team in the 56th annual edition of the publication. Three of Covington's teammates (Bryce Callahan, Jordan Taylor and Caleb Williams) were named to the second team.
A junior from Vancouver, BC, Covington was a first-team All C-USA pick by league coaches as a sophomore, leading the team with a career-high 14 tackles for loss while finishing with a career-best 59 tackles. He played the last five games of the year playing with a heavy cast on his right hand due to thumb injury, but still recorded 4.5 of his tackles for loss, including a pair in the Liberty Bowl. He posted his top two totals for unassisted tackles after his injury (6 each vs. UAB and Mississippi State). He was also directly responsible for the Owls first two defensive touchdowns in 2013, partially deflecting pass that Michael Kutzler ran back for a TD vs. Kansas and blocking a field goal vs. Houston that Alex Lyons returned for a score. He was also named to Dave Campbell's Texas Football's All-Texas postseason team at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
Callahan heads into his senior year ranked third among active FBS players with 11 career interceptions, which are also tied for fourth all-time at Rice and the most since Dan Dawson picked off 13 from 1998-2001. He led the Owls in 2013 with 10 pass breakups and 13 total passes defended. He was a 2011 Freshman All-American after picking off six passes.
Taylor enters his senior year ranked in the top ten in all three career receiving rankings (sixth with 121 receptions and 1,743 yards, seventh with 13 touchdowns) and has caught a pass in 22 consecutive games. The three-year starter earned second-team All C-USA honors last year.
Williams, who earned All C-USA Freshmen honors two years ago is a preseason first team All C-USA pick by Phil Steele and a second-team pick by Athlon. A starter since his the start of his redshirt freshman year, he graded out at 90% or better in eight of 14 games last season while opening the way for Charles Ross to rush for over 1,300 yards.
Rice will open training camp for the 2014 season on August 4 and open the 2014 season on August 30 at Notre Dame.