On Friday the Rice Owls hosted an impressive bevy of some of the state's top talent. This was despite having only a few ships left. This is a major testament to how much the program has progressed in the eyes of the players in the state. A few years ago they would not have drawn half as many players, now they host a "who's who" of the top players left uncommitted and several of the top juniors in the state.
Class of 2009: Chad Tarhini (Tomball), Lucas Devilliers (Cy Woods), Dalton Livingston (Seven LAkes), Ryan Eastman (TWH), Andy MCCloud (TWH), Brandon Colquitt (Flower Mound), Brant Costilla (Parish Episcopal), Scott Zimmerle (Danbury), Corey BRooks (Dallas Christian), Zerick Rollins (Aldine Nimitz), Dustin Vaughan (CAlallen)
Class of 2010: Jamie Peebles (Klein), David Piland (Southlake Carroll), Jackson Crawley (Dallas Wilson), Glenn Hll (Caney Creek)
Impressive when you have 11 quarterbacks at your camp who could all sign college scholarships. Corey Brooks, Brant Costilla, Scott Zimmerle and Zerick Rollins are the big names going into the camp. Chad Tarhini is a player who has made some great progress this off-season and looked sharp again at the camp, he has an added bonus of being a solid punter also. Highly intelligent and intense, he has a calm confidence that you like to see in your quarterback. Without the pads it seems he has taken a major step up but the book won't be closed on him till we can see how he does when the season starts.
Lucas Devilliers has an offer from Army but has yet to see a varsity game as Cy Woods will start playing a UIL schedule this season. He can score running and throwing but without a varsity game under his belt most teams will wait till he has 3 varsity games under his belt.
Dalton Livingston from Seven Lakes is another player who has had strong showings at the camps including UH's, but has not gotten an offer yet, though reportedly he is close on several fronts. Like many other QB's in this class he has the bad fortune of being in the best QB class in Texas history with as many as 40 QB's signing somewhere in February thus the competition for slots is fierce and schools do not feel rushed to close on a QB right now.
Scott Zimmerle from Danbury is another QB who looked good at the camp, short compact throwing motion and someone who just looks the part. He comes from a small school, class 2A , so he needs more work plus there is always the question as to how he will adapt to the tougher competition. Miami is a major player here.
Corey Brooks looks like a California quarterback, tall blonde player, he seems to throw in a baseball motion at times. He wants to play both sports, baseball and football, and I don't blame him, he had a 1.20 ERA and batted .480 on the season. He would progress faster if he choose one sport, but anyone who wants him will have to take him for both sports and Rice has indicated they would let him do that. Pepperdine and Virginia are players for him in baseball with Virginia, OSU, Baylor, North Texas and SMU in football.
Dustin Vaughan is another player yet to start a game on varsity at Calallen but he has gotten on most schools' radar. Tall and looking the part he won't get offered until the football season but he is another that has a lot of buzz around him.
CLASS OF 2010:
Jamie Peebles has been one of our favorites since he wowed us at the St. Pius spring game his freshman year. He was able to throw 30-40 yards downfield on a bad field in the rain and do it over and over again. Since then he has become a 7-on-7 star and transferred to Klein HS where he will start. He is a passing Quarterback when the passing QB's are now in vogue. His only drawback is he is right at 6'0, colleges want their quarterbacks at 6'2, but in Jamie's case he is making a strong demonstration that he has everything else that colleges love. SMU and Texas Tech are his favorites but he did tell us that a Rice offer would be intriguing.
David Piland has also made the camp circuit, we saw him a week ago at the A&M Camp. Though he slated to be a backup this season, behind SMU commit Kyle Padron, he will be the heir apparent next season and have a chance to shine. Jackson Crawley and Glenn Hill are two names to watch for the future. Glenn Hill is an athlete playing quarterback and will get college looks at DB and WR.
CLASS OF 2009: Bo Snelson (Pasadena Memorial)
Rice is full at running back so not too many showed up to get a look but Bo Snelson is a star at Memorial an is one of the hardest running backs in the state. Though he is only 5'8 he is as tough as they get and can break away for a big run.
CLASS OF 2010: JArvis Neal (Atascocita), Jospeh Maxey (Huntsville), Tevin Champagne (Cy Fair)
Neal and Maxey are players that bear watching because they will be the featured backs for their teams this year and both have 4.5 speed according to their respective coaches. Champagne is a supreme athlete who seems to have grown this summer, he is thought of more as a DB prospect but he could see looks at Running Back, Wide Receiver and both DB spots. Definitely a top tier possibility guy, watch for his name during the season.
Class of 2009: Steven McCormack (Seven Lakes), Alex Anthony (Mount Douglas), Joe Sanders (Rockdale)
Class of 2010: Jordan Leslie (Tomball)
CLASS OF 2009: Steven McCormack is a receiver I have seen before, explosive when he takes off he is very fast and quick and explodes to the ball. However he was not the same receiver as when I saw him at the UH camp. He was a step slower, not sure if it was from the 7-on-7 last week or what, but he was out of sorts on the day. He is one of our favorite receivers and though he is not big he has great hands.
Alex Anthony (Mount Douglas)- a Canadian receiver down here to put on a show for Rice, he was the top receiver at the camp. He had a good, not great camp, and his top quality is his great hands. Hwoever he did turn in a great 40 and shuttle time.
Class of 2010
Joe Sanders- a receiver who grows on you, not very fast, but he is 6'2 and makes most catches, but once again he was a receiver who looked better at the state 7-on-7 tournament. I think some of these guys were a bit worn out from that tournament.
Jordan Leslie could be the top receiver in the state for this class. He had a strong first half of the 7's tournament but was noticeably worn out at the end and started to drop catches he made earlier. At the camp he looked more like the Jordan Leslie we've seen before, and made some nice plays, at 6'3 he is an imposing target and he is the type of receiver that can be the go to guy. He's definitely big enough to get yards after the catch.
CLASS OF 2009: Eric Graham (Panhandle) and Shaun Wesley (Canyon)
Two tight ends stood out during the camp and both were tall and had potential linemen size. Eric Graham is the much talked about Tackle/Tight End that also runs sprints in track. He started slow on his catches but got in the groove about half way in. He is the type of player who moves well enough to play Tight End but did not turn in a blazing 40, yet he is not quite filled out enough for Tackle. Basically, once someone finds a spot for him in college he can figure out how to put on weight for Tackle or maintain for Tight End. Great talent though, the key is just finding a position for him. He will be popular after his third game.
Shaun Welsey from Canyon was the best Tight End at the camp. He runs smoothe, lead in the drills and made all the catches. He has adequate size, 6-5 240, and solid speed, plus decent hands. He is someone who has caught our attention and we will be following him closely from here on out.
CLASS OF 2009: Cliff Mitchell (Jasper), Nate Richards (Keller), Stefan Huber (Nederland), Terry Ray (Miller), Dayo Fagojutimi (Westfield), Thomas Robertson (WEstfield), Chase Dube (Lexington), Christopher Knighton (Longview), John Noble (Rockwall), Stephen Huber (Nederland)
CLASS OF 2010: none
Cliff Mitchell from Jasper is making the camp circuit, we saw him at the A&M camp also. He is getting plenty of looks but has no offers yet. He showed well at times but tended to drift too far outside on pass plays, the Rice coaches worked on him with this.
Nate Richards from Keller is a player who performed very well at the camp. He moved his feet, got great leverage and had no problem mixing it up on the line. He has very quick feet, he has a good solid build to go with that and I think he is a solid D1 player. He had a great camp, enough so that I am trying to get tape on him to see him in games.
Stefan Huber from Nederland is coming off a recent offer from Baylor. He looked solid on the one on one drills but did not have a great camp. Several things to like about Stefan, good build, good feet and he tries to learn each time he gets in there.
Terry Ray is a huge player, he should be playing at a lighter weight but held his own on the day. Like I said he is huge but he moved those feet nicely and won more one on ones than he lost. As reported he likes playing OL more than DL and he looked pretty nice at OL but still needs a good weight lifting and nutrition program to get to his ability.
Dayo Fagojutimi is a player who absolutely dominated the camp. Very quiet and "matter of fact" type of personality, but he squared up on the DL and made them do what he wanted time after time. I can't remember him losing a battle and most times he destroyed his opponent. Fundamentally sound, he did about everything right plus he has a great build. He has not played a varsity game because all of the Westfield OL starters last year were seniors.
Thomas Robertson from Westfield got overshadowed by Fuji but still played well. Another player who has not started on Varsity he needs more work but still has that battler spirit and played well on the day. On the map of only Fresno State, UTEP and Rice, his stock will soar during the season.
Having an offensive lineman who can run sprints in track is unusual. However this lineman has NFL…