Junior defensive end Brian Nordstrom, who leads Conference USA in tackles for loss leads a group of 13 Rice Owls who were honored by league coaches on the 2014 All C-USA Football Team which was announced on Tuesday.
Nordstrom was named to the first team, while senior , Nico Carlson, Bryce Callahan and Jordan Taylor were named to the second team. In addition, nine players received honorable mention recognition: Jowan Davis, Ian Gray, Mario Hull, Alex Lyons, Zach Patt, James Radcliffe, Andrew Reue, Matt Simonette and Julius White.
Defensive end Graysen Schantz was honored by league coaches as a member of the 2014 C-USA All Freshman team.
In his first year as a starter, Nordstrom became a dominant force, compiling 18.5 tackles for loss heading into the Hawai'i Bowl. His total is tied for seventh nationally and ranks second in school history while his 7.5 sacks are fifth-best in C-USA and tied for sixth at Rice. He was named to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America second team and was named to the 2014 Ted Hendricks Award Watch List which is created at midseason and based on current season performance.
Carlson put together his most consistent performance in his third year as a starter at guard for the Owls. He has made 37 career starts.
Callahan has been credited with a career-high 38 tackles this year and is tied for the team lead with seven pass breakups. He tied his career-high with three tackles for loss and picked off the 12th pass of his career to take over sole possession of fourth on the Owls career list.
Taylor stormed to the top of the conference receiving lists after missing most of the first four games of the season. In his final eight games, he caught 48 passes for 780 yards and six touchdowns and his average of 86.8 yards per game leads the league. He has a career-high four games with better than 100 yards receiving this year, and tied the school record with an 88-yard touchdown reception against North Texas.
Schantz stepped into the starting role opposite Nordstrom when senior Zach Patt was sidelined and he responded with 21 tackles, including seven for loss, three of them sacks. He picked up two of his three sacks in the Owls 28-14 win over Hawai'i