The Rice Owls continue to work hard on the recruiting trail for the class of 2009. While many of their commits could take on the 'sleeper' label as underpublicized prospects or relative unknowns, some of their commits are very much the top end prospects with major offers to choose from. One of the more recent Rice commits takes the latter description.
Dallas (Texas) Parish Episcopal's Andre Brackens held offers from Kansas, BYU, Air Force, Northwestern and Purdue, with interest from many more. In July, he chose Rice as his future home.
"I committed to Rice University," Brackens said. "I did it back in July. I went there for the camp and their facilities from what I saw were really nice. The coaching staff was really nice and they seemed genuinely interested in me. The way the coach talked to me about how they operated made me feel like it was a family. The class sizes were small and it's one of the best schools in the country."
Hearing Brackens tell it there never was any doubt about Rice. However with several more options, there was one thing that stood out the most about the Owls' program.
"The Rice coaches, they really seemed interested," he said. "I was getting hand-written letters and they were sending them to me like every other day. The other schools were good and they were sending me stuff but it wasn't as personal and it wasn't as persuasive."
With that decision behind him, is Brackens going to entertain any other college recruiters?
"I'm pretty much set on Rice," he said. "I liked what I saw and I said I was going to Rice so that's where I'm going to go. I'll probably visit Rice a couple times but I don't think I'll go anywhere else."
In Brackens, Rice gets a complete corner that can do it all on the defensive side of the ball.
"As a corner, I'm very quick and I have good eyes for the ball," he said. "I'm like a ball hawk. I'm always around the ball. I play fast and I like to hit. A lot of DBs do but not as much as I do and not as frequently."