Gascon-Nadon Prepares To Make Impact

Budding Rice star Scott Solomon is set to have a breakout sophomore season after a freshman campaign that saw him post the team lead in sacks. Behind him however, depth is thin after injuries to backups. New Rice enrollee Arnaud Gascon-Nadon could give Solomon much needed support...

It took Arnaud Gascon-Nadon nearly all day last Sunday June 30th to get to Houston. Poor weather conditions forced him to fly into Austin instead of Houston. He then made the 2 hour trip to Houston on a bus, arriving in Houston just a little before midnight.

As much as Arnaud is glad to be here - the Owls may be even more so.

Rice Owl depth at the Defensive end position has taken some hits over the past 12 months. First the Owls lost starting DE Dietrich Davis last season as he was forced to give up the game due to a series of concussions. Then this spring, both Kramer Lucio and Will Shoppa both missed drills due to injury. Like Davis, Shoppa has also been forced to give up football, Lucio remains an uncertainty with a foot problem.

The Owls could have used a junior college transfer to help their depth situation this fall. Unfortunately, the Owls have steep challenges in securing junior college players. "AG-N" is the closest to a junior college transfer the Owls could have hoped to find.

His age (20), and experience level (additional season in one of Canada's top prep school leagues) make him much more than the average freshman - and quite comparable to a junior college transfer in experience.

Gascon-Nadon comes to Rice with excellent credentials - he was both Team and Defensive MVP for his Vieux Montreal (translation "Old" Montreal) Team. He also played for Team Canada, playing a role in their winning the gold ball at the NFL Global Junior World Championships.

He officially checked into Rice at 6-4 235 pounds this week. He is expected to start August drills around 250 pounds. He will wear number 53 for the Owls. His challenge over the next 30 days will be to get adjusted to the heat and humdity of Houston. And to get as strong and aerobically conditioned as quickly as possible. He started working out on Wednesday July 2. Obviously he and Yancy will also need to pack on muscle weight mass. Gascon-Nadon will face OT's in the 325 pound range so the size of the game will require him to get a little bigger. His speed seems his best asset - so Yancy will want to add strength, necessary for him to play with leverage, without him losing any of his "burst" to the football.

This photo is of Arnaud in his Vieux Montreal Spartiates uniform...

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