The Rice Owls transitioned from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference four days ago. But when the transition officially becomes reality during their Sept. 2 opener, the Owls will be without one of their longtime offensive leaders.
Wide receiver Bradley Rozner entered the transfer portal Wednesday after spending four seasons at Rice. The news of Rozner’s transfer was first reported by Mike Farrell on Twitter.
Rozner, a graduate student, is heading into his eighth season of college football which will serve as his final year of eligibility. The receiver graduated high school in 2016 and launched his collegiate career at Cisco College, a Texas-based junior college between Abilene and Fort Worth.
Rozner burst onto the scene at Rice in 2019 and the 6’5”, 204-pound receiver became an instant weapon in Mike Bloomgren’s offense. He led the Owls in both receiving yards (770) and touchdowns (5) in his first season out of junior college — posting four 100-yard performances, including a 138-yard, 3-touchdown explosion against Middle Tennessee in a spectacular campaign. Rozner was recognized as an All-CUSA Honorable Mention for his efforts in his first season at the FBS level.
The 2020 and 2021 seasons were rockier roads for the explosive playmaker. Rozner opted out of the 2020 pandemic-altered season after electing surgery prior to Rice’s opener in October. The following season, the Needville, TX native appeared on track for a triumphant comeback, but that return was short-lived. Rozner’s 2021 was limited to one game, as he suffered a season-ending injury after recording two receptions for 30 yards against Arkansas.
However, Rozner powered through the adversity to post his best numbers to date in 2022. He eclipsed the 100-yard threshold five times en route to a résumé which included 44 receptions and team-highs in receiving yards (876) and touchdowns (10). In November, he secured the game-winning touchdown to knock off UTEP in a career-high performance featuring 142 receiving yards. Rozner ranked ninth in the CUSA in receiving yards and tied for third in touchdowns, warranting his second nod as an All-CUSA Honorable Mention. His average of 19.9 yards per reception ranked fourth nationally among receivers tallying at least 40 receptions, demonstrating his downfield playmaking potential.
The 6’5” receiver is an ideal weapon on 50-50 jump balls with an impressive catch radius, and he exudes enough quickness and agility to win 1-on-1 battles well past the sticks. The 2023 season represents the final year of eligibility for the longtime Rice Owl, and he will be tasked with quickly learning a new offense after spending four years under Bloomgren’s system in Houston.
Rice moves forward with a receiving corps led by Luke McCaffrey. McCaffrey, a quarterback during the 2021 season, transitioned to wide receiver last season and led the team in receptions. With former USC, Georgia, and West Virginia quarterback JT Daniels as the chief facilitator, the Owls round out their wide receiver depth with Cedric Patterson III (38 receptions, 583 yards, and 6 touchdowns in 2021 before an injury-riddled 2022), Kobie Campbell (17 receptions, 92 yards in 2022), and UCLA transfer Matt Sykes.
Update from original story: On July 17, Rozner announced his commitment to NC State via Twitter.