Ask Rice Co-Defensive Coordinators Chuck Driesbach and Craig Naivar what their unit needs for improvement more than anything else and they will say in unison: "SPEED!"
The Owls have worked hard to identify, and then commit players who can run, especially in the Defensive Secondary. Dallas Private school star Andre Brackens is one of those speedy Owls that Rice coaches think can have a big impact on their future Defensive success.
Brackens runs the 40 in less than 4.4 seconds and is a very versatile athlete that could help with Special Teams returns also.
I caught up to Andre briefly Wednesday night to look ahead to Signing Day and ask about his current thoughts on Rice and his recruiting class.
"I'm very excited. The class is very, very nice. I'm really looking forward to being able to play with these guys. We've got some real talent coming in on the Defensive side of the ball."
Andre agreed about the Class of 2009's potential.
"I think we have championship potential - I couldn't be more excited about the future of the program."
Brackens will no doubt be a part of that reaching that potential. He's been heavily honored for a 2008 Season that saw him excel all over the field:
TAPPS 1st Team All-State Offense
TAPPS 1st Team All-State Defense
TAPPS Class 2 - Division II District Most Valuable Player
TAPPS Class 2 - Division II 1st Team All-District Offense
TAPPS Class 2 - Division II 1st Team All-District Defense
Selected to play in TAPPS D/FW All-Star Game (pictured above)
National Signing Day is February 4th...