Our summer tour of FBS schools looks at the specialists for the Rice Owls.
Kicker: Chris Boswell, senior (Keller, TX / Fossil Ridge HS)
Boswell was named to the Preseason Watch List for the 2013 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award. He was a semifinalist for the award each of the past two seasons. Last season, Boswell was one of the top kickers in the country as he led the nation in long distance field goals while re-writing the Rice kicking record book. He set school season records for field goals (23) and kick scoring (114) in addition to career records for field goals (51) and field goal attempts (67) and kick scoring (270). Boswell also led C-USA in kick scoring and field goals and finished fourth overall in scoring. He tied for sixth nationally with 23 field goals and ranked 13th among active kickers with 51 field goals, second among underclassmen. He led the nation with six field goals from 50 yards or more and was 6-of-8 from that distance. His 11 career field goals from 50 yards or longer are nearly triple the total of the next highest returning kicker for 2013 (Aaron Jones of Baylor has four). As a junior, he tied an NCAA record against SMU, becoming the sixth kicker in history to hit three field goals of 50 yards or longer in a game. The three long kicks were part of a school-record five on the day. He also converted kicks from 57 (vs. Louisiana Tech to tie the school record) and 56 (vs. SMU) last year, making him the first kicker in conference history to have two kicks from 55 yards or better in a season (UTEP's Jose Martinez had a 64 yarder in 2008 and a 57 yarder in 2007).
Spring Game: made field goals of 53 & 50 yardsKicker: Taylor Knopf, freshman (Boerne, TX / Boerne HS)
"This was my first summer workout at Rice and the atmosphere is incredible, great guys, great coaches so this summer has really just been working out and running with kicking mixed in a few times a week. All in all my goals and plans for this season is to pick Boswells brain, and really learn as much from him as I can, he's the best and the only way to get better and to be the best I can be is to learn from the best. I'm focusing on when I get the chance to get my reps in practice to succeed and impress the coaches while learning as much as I can before Boswell is gone after this year."Punter/kicker: Cameron Decell, freshman (McKinney, TX / Boyd HS)
This year heads into camp at the top of the depth chart at punter, after being redshirted last year.
Spring Game: had one punt of 46 yards, which was inside the twenty yard line
High school: All-District 10 5A selection as a punter and second team as a wide receiver as a junior... Caused touchbacks on 65 percent of his kickoffs as a senior, with 20 of his 55 kicks going out of the end zone... Averaged 37 yards and a 4.7 second hang time per punt with a long of 72 yards.Punter/kicker: James Farrimond, sophomore (An Antonio, TX / Churchill HS)
Walk-on punter and kicker who earned first playing time in 2012... Two-time member of C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll.
Spring Game: averaged 27.8 yards on four punts, placing one inside the twenty yard lineWR/punter: Andre Gautreaux, senior (Friendship, TX / Friendship HS)
Versatile performer who caught three passes while averaging 37.1 yards on 11 punts and also taking on holding chores on kicks for one game... Four of his 11 kicks went for more than 40 yards, including a career-best 55 yarder vs. SMU... Put a pair of punts inside the 20Long snapper: Ty Carter, freshman (Houston, TX / Mayde Creek HS)
High school: Two-time District 19-5A Special Teams Player of the Year as a deep snapper.... earned all-district honors a senior and second team honors as a junior for his play on the offensive line... Three-time Academic All District selection... Threw the shot in track