The secret is out on one of the bigger sleepers in the Lone Star State.
Los Fresnos, Texas offensive guard prospect Mario Benavides, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound junior all-state selection, has added his first scholarship offer from Rice. Coach Scott Ford says that it's more than likely the first of many.
"The best way I can put it is that he's by far the best offensive lineman I've ever coached," Ford said. "Even in this day and age, we get overlooked. But, Justin Springer getting a scholarship (Kansas) has opened the door for guys like Mario."
Ford was at Killeen Ellison when Oklahoma and NFL star Tommie Harris came through. Having seen both at the same age, Ford says that there are a lot of similarities.
"Tommie was a defensive tackle, so they're on different sides of the ball, but if we could have lined up these two at the same age, it would have been a battle," Ford aid. "Tommie Harris is the only kid I can compare him to that is just that total package."
Schools such as Iowa State, Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Houston, SMU, and others have picked up the word on Benavides. Those schools and others are expected to come down to check out the rising offensive lineman.
Benavides also attended a junior day at Texas A&M. Several schools have indicated they could be offering.
"Ole Miss has told us that they'll be offering him," Ford said. "I guess the word is getting out now because people are calling everyday either to ask for film or to say they've seen it and they're coming down."
Benavides has recorded a 385-pound bench press max and a 525-pound squat max.