June 26, 2013
Rice senior cornerback Phillip Gaines and senior kicker Chris Boswell lead a group of five Rice Owls who have been named to the 2013 All-Texas College preseason team by Dave Campbell's Texas Football. Gaines and Boswell were named to the first team, while junior wide receiver Jordan Taylor, senior defensive end Cody Bauer and senior linebacker Cameron Nwosu were named to the second team.
Gaines was named the Owls' MVP in 2012 after ranking second nationally and first in C-USA last year with 18 pass breakups en route to earning consensus All-Conference USA honors as well as a spot on Dave Campbell's Texas Football's postseason All-Texas College team. Gaines' PBU total was seven more than his career total coming into 2012 and were the most in school history. His deflections saved 38 points from scoring (6 TD passes plus a two-point attempt) and were tied for the 10th most in NCAA history since the statistic was first tracked in 2003.
Boswell had yet another superb season in 2012 as he was a Groza Award semifinalist for the second consecutive year. He led the nation in long distance field goals while re-writing the Rice kicking record book. Boswell set school season records for field goals (23) and kick scoring (114) in addition to career records for field goals (51), field goal attempts (67) and kick scoring (270). He has 11 career field goals from 50 yards or longer, no other returning kicker has more than four. His 51 career three-pointers rank 11th in C-USA history (Stephen Gostkowski of Memphis set the record with 70 from 2002-05).
Taylor capped a breakout season by setting Rice bowl game records with nine receptions for 153 yards and three touchdowns in the Armed Forces Bowl win over Air Force. He was named by ESPN.com, CBSSports.com and USA Today's All-Bowl teams for his performance. He led the Owls with 826 receiving yards 57 receptions on the season.
Bauer came back from a redshirt year while rehabbing an injury to start all 13 games and reached career highs across the board, finishing with 51 tackles, (36 unassisted), 15 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two fumbles, two fumbles forced, one pass breakup and one interception. He earned postseason honorable mention all-conference accolades from the league's coaches in 2012.
Nwosu finished 2012 ranked second on the squad with 92 tackles in 2012 while leading the team with three blocked kicks and tying with two others for the team lead with two interceptions. He heads into his senior year with 210 career tackles and needs 76 stops to crack the Rice career top 10.
Rice will open preparations for the 2013 season on August 5 with the Media Day. The Owls will kick off the season on August 31 when they meet Texas A&M in College Station.