Owls Kick Off '09 Recruiting With Silsbee DE

Rice landed one of the top 2009 Defensive End prospects in Southeast Texas Wednesday when they picked up their first commit of the 2009 class...

Rice picked up their first committment of the 2009 signing class Wednesday when Silsbee DE Josh Skinner committed to play football for Coach David Bailiff's Owls. Skinner was offered less than a week ago and pulled the trigger on the school that has been his leader since he attended Rice's Junior Day in March.

Skinner was a 1st Team selection at DE in District 21-3A last year as a junior, and also played Tight End. Skinner is also a hard throwing left-handed pitcher who's been clocked at 90+ mph. He will have the opportunity to play both at Rice. Skinner was a 2nd Team All-District pick in baseball this year.

What excites Rice about Skinner is his upside - he's pushing 6-6 now, and with that frame has the potential to be 6-6 265 Defensive End at Rice. On top of that he is quick and agile, running the forty in the 4.75 range. Coaches in his district rave about his potential. His long arms and strength allow him to play with great leverage. He's got the tools to be a great pass rusher.

I was expecting this news, maybe not so quickly though. I spoke to Josh Tuesday night and he told me, "I'll probably commit to Rice, but I'm not sure when."

Rice wasn't the only school recruiting Skinner by a far stretch - he's been getting calls, letters, and visits to his high school from Missouri, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Texas A&M, and Colorado. The last two told him they would offer if he came to their camps this summer.

Skinner plans to attend camp at Rice this summer and also will play baseball for the Columbia Angels.

I'll have more on Josh in a follow up story tonight. Welcome to the family Josh!

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