Last spring Scout.com got word of a private school phenom playing in the Dallas area. There was a little confusion as to what school he played for but the reports on him were that he had explosive speed and jumping ability, and was a compact athlete with power. What complicated things even more was that he has played in California as a sophomore.
We finally tracked the player that turned out to be outstanding RB/DB Andre Brackens, and the school he played for was Dallas Parish Episcopal.
No surprise that while we were sorting out details on Andre, Rice was already recruiting him.
That early effort paid off for the Owls, Andre came to a Rice Football Camp in the summer as was offered a scholarship. He accepted within days and has been a solid commit ever since.
While Brackens is being recruited as an "athlete" capable of playing many positions, he will likely play Defense at Rice. His senior season has been highlighted by his stellar play as a Running Back however.
Regardless of where he suits up for the Blue and Gray, Rice coaches are just glad he'll be wearing a Rice uniform.
I caught up with Andre Tuesday to ask him details on his recent visit to Rice. Brackens was one of 11 official visitors last weekend.
"It went really great. It just solidified my decision to come to Rice. I really enjoyed hanging out with the players and some of my fellow recruits."
Brackens was hosted by Dallas native Justin Hill for the weekend. He mentions meeting some of his fellow recruits and developed a fast friendship with one in particular.
"Broderick Jackson and I were roommates last weekend and got a chance to hang out. Broderick's a cool guy, I'm glad we're going to be teammates at Rice. We exchanged numbers so we could stay in touch."
Good to hear to say the least. Jackson has been drawing heavy interest from other schools recently.
I also asked Andre about his plans for the coming months and if he was already lifting in preparation for his future at Rice. Actually he is - Andre is one of the top Powerlifters in his weight class in Texas private school ranks. He already boasts a 500 pound squat and 350 pound bench press. He will compete again this spring.
With that kind of explosive strength, and a vertical jump approaching 40", he delivers a real wallop with his 5-9 190 pound frame.
Rice will have to wait on Brackens just a little longer though as Signing Day is just over a month away. Right now they are focused on securing their current outstanding Class of 2009, while also adding a few more stars to it.
Andre will have to wait too - not that he wants to. He told me, "I'm ready to sign right now."