The Rice 2013 freshman class includes one quarterback, two tight ends, three defensive ends and a big heaping of Texas high school football award winners.
The Owls signed 18 high school seniors Wednesday on National Signing Day. All but one player hails from the state of Texas.
The odd man out is offensive lineman Peter Godber. The 6-4, 287 pounder was ranked as the No. 2 player out of Canada this season. He will be the eighth Canadian to play at Rice.
“He is big and physical, but also has great feet for a young man his size,” said Rice coach David Bailiff. “He has a huge upside.”
Bailiff called the incoming 18 an exciting class.
“I can’t wait for this class to get to campus and start working with our returning players to prepare for a great 2013 season,” he said.
The class includes four players from Houston, two from Katy, two from Richmond, two from El Campo and one from Cypress
“We were very excited to have the kind of success we had with the recruits in the Houston area,” Bailiff said. “I know so many of their families and their coaches in the area are really excited to know they have chosen to stay close to home so they can enjoy watching them play. It’s great to see so many choosing Rice as the place where they can combine their love of football and their desire to get a great education.”
Cy Woods quarterback Nate German is the only signal caller to sign with the Owls. Bailiff said he has everything that they look for in a quarterback.
A two-year starter, German threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns at Cy Woods. He also ran for 13 rushing touchdown. German participated in the Nike Elite 11 Quarterback camp and the US Army All American Combine. He is listed as a two-star recruit and the 112th best QB prospect by Scout.com.
Langham Creek offensive lineman Kenneth Thompson drew a 3-star rating from Scout.com. At 6-4, 285 pounds, Thompson is known for his body control and pass protection abilities.
“He will make the move to the interior in college and will need to add some size and strength to take on bigger interior defenders,” wrote Greg Powers on Scout.com. “He moves well in space, can pull and squares his shoulders to deliver effective and consistent blocking. He is very dependable.”
Cy Wood receiver Temi Alaka and Richmond wideout Parker Smith could both see playing time down the road. Alaka caught 43 passes as a senior for 833 yards. Smith had 45 receptions for 1,006 yards as a senior.
One of the more decorated high school players in the Gulf Coast region was El Campo tight end Cole Hunt. He played defensive end for the Ricebirds and helped the team reach the state title game. Hunt was named the Associated Press 3A Defensive Player of the Year. He is a four-time Academic All District selection.
According to ESPN, Hunt is a 2-star recruit ranked as the 50th best tight end prospect in the country.
“He is an athlete who excelled on both sides of the ball. He has great growth potential,” Bailiff said.
Hunt’s high school teammate Trey Martin will also join the Owls. During his senior year on the offensive line, Martin was credited with 81 pancake blocks and did not allow a sack.
“He is a dominating blocker who led his team in knockdowns and dominated on both sides of the ball,” Bailiff said.
Here’s the other players who signed with the Owls Wednesday:
- Anthony Canady II, defensive back, Mesquite
- Ty Carter, deep snapper, Mayde Creek High in Houston
- Jowan Davis, running back, Sealy
- D.J. Green, linebacker, Mesquite
- Parker Hanusa, defensive end, Westwood High in Austin
- Brad Luvender, defensive tackle, Richmond
- Graysen Schantz, defensive end, Hickory Creek
- Cole Thomas, defensive back, Cinco Ranch High in Katy
- Nick Uretsky, linebacker, Alamo Heights High in San Antonio
- Robby Wells III, tight end, Taylor High in Katy
- Brian Womac, defensive end, Memorial High in Houston
Rice finished 7-6 in 2012 with five straight victories, including a win over Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl. The Owls open the 2013 season at Texas A&M on Aug. 31.