The New Owls - Defense

Looking for Help at Cornerback, Rice Signed 3 Players That Can Help out Immediately at the Position. The Owls Also Added a Couple of Promising Big Men Up Front...

While the Owls filled their "need for speed" on offense, they got their share on defense as well. They signed 3 cornerbacks - all of which run in the 4.4 range. All are 5-10 or bigger, with Chris Jammer being the tallest of the group at 6-1. The Owls helped themselves on the defensive line too -gaining two explosive young men to help inside and signing Jared Williams from Huntsville who will play defensive end.

The Owls are still working on signing additional players that could play at end.

Jarrett Ben, DB, 5-10, 160, 4.4 Garland (High)

Two-year starter and second-team All District 10-5A for coach Jeff Jordan... As a junior, helped lead Garland to a 12-3 record and a berth in the Division II 5A semifinals... Credited with 80 tackles, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 20 pass breakups in his career... Also ran track for the Owls and was a member of Garland's 4x200 meter relay that finished second at the 2007 state meet... Also ran a leg on the Owls 4x100 meter relay that finished third... Member of the National Honor Society and carries a 3.94 GPA... Bailiff on Ben: "He will be one of the faster guys on our team when he gets here. He has great man-to-man coverage skills. He really stood out at our Dallas camp."

John Gioffre, DL, 6-1, 293, 5.10 Katy (Cinco Ranch)

Two-time All District 18-5A selection and a three-year starter for coach Don Clayton... Led Cinco Ranch to the playoffs his last two years... Member of the Houston Chronicle's Houston Top 100 players... Also a standout wrestler who is unbeaten and unscored upon this year and finished fifth at the state meet as a junior... Two-time Academic All District selection as well... Elected Homecoming King... Bailiff on Gioffre: "He will have an immediate impact. He has the size and strength to come in and compete right away."

Chris Jammer, DB, 6-1, 175, 4.47 Sweeney (High)

Two-time All District 24-3A selection for coach Thomas Zajicek as both a defensive back and wide receiver... Member of Dave Campbell's Texas Football Top 300... Lettered in both basketball and track as well... Unanimous selection both ways as a senior... A member of the National Honor Society and National Association of High School Scholars who carries a 3.9 GPA and was a second-team Academic All State selection... A cousin of former Rice all-american pitcher Kenny Baugh, UTEP WR Johnnie Lee Higgins and former Texas DB Quentin Jammer... Bailiff on Jammer: "We set out this year to get taller at cornerback and he fits that bill. He has good speed, combined with great body control."

Michael Patterson, ATH, 5-11, 170, 4.45 Rockwall (High)

Speedy wide receiver who was a unanimous All District 10-5A selection for coach Scott Smith... Caught 68 passes for 851 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior, and finished his career with 93 receptions for 1,215 yards and 13 scores... Also named team captain... Member of Dave Campbell's Texas Football Top 300... Earned second-team all district honors at cornerback as a junior... Lettered twice in track... A member of the National Society of High School Scholars who carries a 3.7 GPA... Bailiff on Patterson: "A great athlete who can play on either side of the ball. He has great hands and great body control."

Michael Smith, DL, 6-1, 270, 4.98 Bay City (High)

Stout defender who was a two-time unanimous All District 24-4A selection and a three-year starter for coach Danny Edelman... Earned second-team All State honors by the Texas Sports Writers Association... Also lettered in basketball (twice) and track (four times).... Named to the Texas Prep Extra Houston Top 100... Member of the National Honor Society for three years... Bailiff on Smith: "An extremely athletic defensive lineman who, along with John Gioffre, was the standout of our Houston camp."

Xavier Webb, DB, 5-11, 200, 4.5 Montgomery (High)

Two-time All District 18-4A selection at quarterback for coach John Bolfing... Threw for 1,175 and rushed for 1,221 as a senior... Finished his career with 4,198 yards passing and 2.489 rushing.... Member of Dave Campbell's Texas Football Top 300 and the Houston Chronicle's Texas Top 100... District offensive MVP as a junior... Named the district's newcomer of the year after earning a starting spot as a safety as a freshman... moved to quarterback for his next three years... USAA National Minority Leadership Award winner... Elected Homecoming King... Four-time Academic All District selection.... Member of the National Honor Society... Bailiff on Wells: "Has great change-of-direction skills. He has the natural ability and tools to become a great defensive back."

Jared Williams, TE/DE, 6-3, 230, 4.68 Huntsville (High)

Second-team All District 18-4A selection at tight end for coach Mitchell Coey... Named team offensive MVP... caught 26 passes for 412 yards and three TDs as a senior... totaled 544 yards receiving and four TD catches as a junior... Three-time Academic All District selection... National Honor Society member who carries a 4.9 ERA on a 5.0 scale. Ranked in the top 5% of his class... AAlso a member of the German Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta math honorary society... President of The Woodlands Area chapter of Jack and Jill of American, Inc. Bailiff on Williams: "Has extremely good speed for a big man. A real leader on and off the field who excels in everything he does."

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