Owls Still in the Hunt

Rice landed a huge cornerback prospect in picking up Jarrett Ben last week. They are looking to add another corner to play opposite him however, Owl Digest looks at the possibilities...

With several of the higher ranked cornerback prospects on Rice's list committing elsewhere in recent days - Michael Thomas from Aldine Nimitz to Stanford and Johnny Thomas to Oklahoma State and James Hamilton to North Texas - let's look at who's left on the board to fill the Owls' need for another good player at he position...

BTW - We should all be very excited about Jarrett Ben's verbal to the Owls, he is a great pickup for the Owls and he plays much bigger than his listed 5-11 165 pounds.

Here are some other options for the Owls:

Royce Hill, 5-11 180 4.45, Cy-Ridge - Hill was offered in the spring by the Owls and is a standout baseball player too. He's a very physical defender who also plays the run well. The Owls would love a commit from him and would consider the pair of he and Ben "mission accomplished" in their search for talented players at the position. Scout.com's Ahmard Vital adds this about Hill from a recent conversation, "I would have to say that Rice is my favorite," Hill said. "I have met all of the coaches and went to their camps. I plan to take an official visit there." With Northwestern, Hill said coach Randy bates has been recruiting him and he is considering making the trip to Evanston, Illinois as well. "Coach Bates came by the school and wanted my test scores," Hill said. "They want to set up an official visit. I think once they do that they will offer me. Another offer would be great, but we'll see what happens." Hill averaged about four tackles a game this past season and hauled in three interceptions. He was named by the Touchdown Club of Houston as a defensive finalist for player of the year. The three-sport athlete is busy with other sports right now, but does plan to make his official visits. "I will probably not commit early," Hill said. "I will commit on signing day."

Josh Hill, 6-1 185 4.5 Klein Forest - Josh is attractive because of his size. The Owls have had a hard time finding bigger corners. He has offers from Kansas, Tulane, and the Owls. He has 4 picks on the year. Teammate of current Rice freshman Brian Stacey and recruit Kendrick Payne.

John Flanders, 5-10 175 4.4, Midwest City, OK - Rice is battling Kansas State and Tulsa among others for his commitment. He is ranked fairly high by other services.

Nicholas Saenz, 6-0 180 4.45, Pearland - the UH commit is reconsidering his situation since Art Briles left. He was offered early by Rice and the longer the Coogs' job stays open the better for the Owls.

Marquis McFadden, 5-10 180 4.39, Pulaski Robinson, AR - cousin of Arkansas Heisman finalist Darren McFadden. Has a Rice offer.

Josh Hall, 6-0 170 4.52, Duluth, GA - 36" vertical helped him to rack up 4 picks and 6 pass breakups this year. 1640 on the SAT and a 4.0 student.

Demetrius Dugar, 5-11 180 4.5, Aldine - has offers from Air Force, Navy, Minnesota and Nortwestern is talking to him also. Dugar is ranked 15th in his class.

Deandre Cooper, 6-1 180 4.5, Houston Smiley - has an offer from UCONN.

Justin Alkire, 5-9 180 4.48, Elysian Fields - 34" vertical and a 29 ACT score.

Landon Johnson, 6-0 185 4.4, St. Pius X - one of Greater Houston's top private school players at wide receiver, but could play in the secondary as well.

Rolando Oliver, 5-9 175 4.4, San Mateo College (CA) - originally from Berkeley St. Mary's HS, Oliver was recently named a JC Academic All American by JC Grid-Wire.

The Owls will likely host several recruits in January as several have already indicated they will visit on the weekends of the 11th and 18th. We'll keep you posted as developments occur.

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