Owls Add LB Hammett To Impressive Haul

Rice continued to add big, physical athletes to its 2009 class when one of Central Texas' finest pledged to Rice Head Coach David Bailiff...

The Rice Football roster continues to change its complexion. It seems the Owls are stockpiling one big, physical athlete after another. The latest to join the Owls is Nic Hammett of Rockdale,TX - and he definitely fits the recent trend of Rice verbals.

This seems to be the formula Rice coaches have been following:

Big? Check.

Hammett is 6-4 232 pounds.

Fast? Check.

He runs the 40 in 4.66 seconds.

Agile? Check.

The Rockdale standout has recorded a 4.38 second pro shuttle and measured 33" in vertical leap testing.

Strong? Check.

Hammett Benches 300 pounds and Squats nearly 500.

Versatile? Check.

He's one of the better baseball players in Central Texas. He will start out at Linebacker for the Owls but could end up as a TE also.

Heavily Recruited? Check.

He's been invited to camps at nearly half the schools in the Big 12 - including OU and Texas A&M - but ultimately chose Rice over an offer from Jim Harbaugh at Stanford.

Hammett has gotten his share of accolades. Dave Campbell's Texas Football tabbed him as one of the State's Top 300 players. He's on the Scout.com Central Texas Top 100. He was 1st Team All District 18-3A at Linebacker, and 2nd Team All District as a Tight End.

His defensive prowess is impressive. Hammett's junior season stats are as follows: 127 Tackles, 30 Tackles For Loss, 6 Sacks, and 1 Interception.

In the end, with so many schools still recruiting him, he chose Rice for all the reasons we've heard from other commits recently.

Family. Education. Coaching Staff. Future.

I spoke to Nic in his Atlanta hotel room tonight (he's playing in a baseball tournament there) and he explained in depth why Rice was his first, and ultimate choice.

"So many schools recruiting me talked about football first - and a degree as something that they could "help me take care of". Coach Bailiff and the Rice coaches were real straight forward about education, he told me that education is most important and something that is needed in life. Football is important - but its not more important than life after school."

Hammett said Rice was the perfect place for both.

"Rice was exactly what I was looking for. There isn't one single thing I could find about the school or the program that didn't feel right."

"I believe that Coach Bailiff will get things done at Rice and I'm excited to get to be a part of that. It's a great feeling!"

Hammett also plans to play baseball at Rice and will know at least one familiar face when he does. He already knows one of his 2009 classmates well - Josh Skinner. The two have played together on tournament baseball teams and Hammett has actually caught a few games in which Skinner pitched. Josh is who told me of Nic's commit...

Welcome to Rice, Nic!

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