July 16, 2014
Defending Conference USA Champion Rice placed three players on the 2014 preseason coaches all-conference team, while the Owls finished one point behind North Texas in the West Division in the coaches’ preseason poll in voting released by the C-USA office on Wednesday.
This is the second consecutive year that Covington was named to the preseason team. The junior from Vancouver, British Columbia has already been named to watch lists for the Outland Trophy and the Bednarik, Nagurski and Rotary Lombardi Awards. Callahan has been named to the Thorpe Award Watch List and Taylor was named to the Bilenikoff Award preseason list on Tuesday.
The three Owls were the second highest number among position players, following East Division favorite Marshall who placed seven on the preseason team. Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee North Texas, UTEP and UTSA each placed a pair of position players while UAB had one.
North Texas finished with 66 points in the poll, one ahead of Rice (65) and four more than UTSA (62). Louisiana Tech (38), Southern Miss (24) and UTEP (18) rounded out the predicted finish in the west.
Last year the Owls also had three All C-USA first team selections and the coaches tabbed the squad second (76 points) behind defending champion Tulsa (98).
Preseason activity for Conference USA football picks up steam next Wednesday when the conference holds its annual Media Day in Dallas.
Rice will begin preparations for the 2014 season opener at Notre Dame when the squad reports to campus on August 3 and opens training camp the following day.