By Chuck Pool (cpool@Rice.edu) -
The Rice Owls will honor the accomplishments of 17 senior members of the football team prior to the kickoff of the season finale against the UTEP Miners at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Rice Stadium.
The current group of seniors have been contributors in a run of success by the Owls that has seen the team earn three bowl bids, win a pair of bowl championships and capture the school's first conference title in 56 years while setting records for wins over two and three year periods and tying both the single-season and four-year marks.
2016 Rice Football Senior Class:
J.T. Blasingame, CB, Atlanta, Georgia
Has been a valuable contributor and starter since making his debut as a true freshman in 2012. He has a pair of interceptions in his career and 70 career tackles.
Justin Carter. Hoover, Alamama
A scholarship recruit, Carter's career came to a premature end and he has served as a team videographer during his years at Rice.
Connor Cella. TE, Katy, Texas
A fixture at tight end since 2013, he has caught a career-high 22 receptions this year and 49 in his career.
Jowan Davis, RB, Sealy, Texas
Has rushed for nearly 2,000 yards in his career and scored 11 touchdowns. He is the Owls' active career leader with five career 100-yard rushing games.
Brandon Dawkins, OL, Dallas Texas
Battled back from injuries last year to play in all 10 games as a reserve on the offensive line and on special teams.
Cameron Decell WR, McKinney, Texas
Has been a solid contributor at wide receiver in the last three years after originally coming to Rice as a punter recruit.
Darik Dillard, RB San Antonio, Texas
The Owls active leader with 2,126 yards and 25 touchdowns and one half of the NCAA's most productive set of brothers in history, combining with older brother Jarett to score 85 touchdowns.
Cody Henessee,DL Denton, Texas
A productive member of the defensive line while battling injuries. His senior year was cut short and he concludes his career with 26 career tackles.
Collin Johnson, DE, Las Vegas
Walked on to Rice along with twin brother Connor, but was forced to miss his last two years with injuries.
Connor Johnson, DE Las Vegas
Walked on to Rice along with twin brother Collin and has 10 career tackles including 2.5 sacks in his career.
Alex Lyons, LB Desoto, Texas
Two-time team captain and active career leader with 256 tackles as well as the model of consistency in his career, having started 35 consecutive games at linebacker.
Tabari McGaskey SAF, Dallas, Texas
Made the switch to safety this year after three seasons at linebacker and he enters Saturday's game as the team leader with 11 tackles for loss.
Reid Mitchell, DE, Pflugerville, Texas Came to Rice as a tight end but has enjoyed his greatest playing time this year as a defensive end.
Connor Patterson, OG, Tomball, Texas
Battled injuries and worked his way into a starting spot heading into his senior year, only to see his season end in the opener at WKU when he suffered a knee injury.
Tyler Stehling, QB Spring, Texas
Stepped into the starting role as a senior and has etched himself into the Rice record book with his efforts, including becoming just the fourth Rice QB to throw for more than 400 yards in a game.
David Wilganowski, DE, Bryan Texas
A medical episode as a high school senior ended his dream of playing collegiately, but after Rice honored the offer of a scholarship, he has worked as a student coach during his career on South Main.
Zach Wright, WR, The Woodlands, Texas A Rice legacy who has written a chapter of his own, moving from walk-on to three-year starter and team captain and who comes into Senior Day needing just two catches to become the 12th Owl to reach 100 career receptions.