Owls Add More Beef

Most of the Rice campus was empty today except for a few professors and coaches. They came in on their "off" day to host a very important visitor. The extra work paid off handsomely for the Owls...

One of the challenges Rice has faced in recruiting the past two years has been changing perception and attitudes. That was exactly what they faced when they began recruiting Offensive Lineman Cade Shaw of Corpus Christi Calallen High School.

"When Rice offered I thought they must want to take anyone. Then I met the coaches and really liked them. They told me how Rice just got a new Athletic Director (Chris Del Conte) and a new Head Football Coach. It wasn't long before I was convinced that Rice was going to be a winning program very soon. Now, I can't figure out why everyone isn't jumping on board!"

Consider Shaw's perception officially changed - he committed to Rice Coaches David Bailiff and Rick LaFavers on an unofficial visit to campus Monday.

Shaw made his decision to join the Owls long before today though.

"I decided a couple weeks ago that I wasn't going to find a better place than Rice for an education. Maybe Harvard but that's not a legitimate option because they don't have the football program that Rice is building. I decided Rice was the right place for me."

Cade's desire to enter a career in the oil and gas industry after college was the only question mark for him entering today's unofficial visit. And that was answered today.

"I decided that Chemical Engineering would provide a broader spectrum of opportunity than Petroleum Engineering (which Rice doesn't offer). I can do more with Chemical Engineering than the other degree - I can go into manufacturing of products or any number of things if not oil and gas. The professors I talked to today were extremely friendly and accomodating, and answered all my questions perfectly."

Once his academic questions were answered he sat down with Rice coaches to make his intentions known.

"Coach Bailiff asked me if I was sure about making a committment. He said there's no backing out once you commit. He said we're making a mutual committment when you decide to come here so you need to be 100% sure."

It appears there's no doubt in Shaw's mind.

"I told Coach Bailiff and Coach LaFavers I was sure about committing. I couldn't think of a better place to be. In fact, I don't think I could live with myself if I passed up this opportunity."

While on campus shaw also met new Defensive End Arnaud Gascon-Nadon and WR Patrick Randolph.

"Everyone was real friendly on campus."

Cade has gotten plenty of attention outside the Rice campus as well. He is listed as the #10 player on our Scout.com South Texas 75. Dave Campbell's Texas Football tabs him as a Super Team selection. He was also named a 1st Team All District 31-4A selection for legendary Calallen coach Phil Danaher after last season.

At 6-5 285 pounds Shaw is perhaps the icing on the cake to the Owls' already impressive haul of Bobby Janisch and Jon Hodde. A previous OL commit, Alex Lowry, will now move to defense. I got a chance to watch Cade a while at the Rice Camp in Houston held on June 6th - and he was definitely one of the Top 3 OL in attendance in my opinion. Shaw is a lean 285 pounds, his dad Mitch Shaw says, "Most people see Cade and think he weighs about 230 pounds. I tell them he's 285 and they say NO way!" Though his frame is ready to carry more weight in college he's already got great weight room numbers - a 350 pound Bench and close to 500 pound Squat.

One other thing the Shaw's were looking for in a program was an active fan base. Mr. Shaw commented to me how much he enjoyed seeing an active group of fans right here on Owl Digest.

Sounds like everyone is happy with Cade's commit on both sides.

The Owls are getting a heck of a player here and Cade brings a real mental toughness to the field when he straps on the helmet.

"My goal when I step on the field is to make my opponents wish they were anywhere but across from me."

Cade summed up his committment pretty well.

"I didn't find a single thing about Rice that I didn't like. I couldn't think of a better place to be, so I made up my mind. I look forward to getting to Rice, hopefully we'll win a couple championship rings while I'm there."

I like the sound of that Cade - welcome to Rice!

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