Brackens Picks Rice

Rice held its final Mini Camp of 2008 today at Rice Stadium. The good news for Owl coaches was that over 250 recruits showed up today, but it got even better after camp when the Owls received a pledge from one of their top targets...

Andre Brackens made his college decision today when he committed to Rice coaches after participating in Rice's Mini Camp, and touring the campus today.

The decision no doubt had Rice coaches jumping up and down with the news of the athletic private school star's announcement!

I spoke with him tonight as he made the trip back to Dallas from Houston with his parents. He shared some details of his commit.

"My parents and I took a tour of the campus after camp. I really like the campus life and the classroom sizes. Jarett Dillard was our host and he's a really nice guy."

(We'll mark this down as Dillard's first score of the season.)

I asked Andre if he had come to Rice today with the intent of committing.

"No, I just made up my mind today on the tour. I had liked Rice a lot before but today was the day I knew without a doubt Rice was the place I wanted to be, and the place that wanted me."

He chose Rice over offers from BYU, Arizona, and Kansas.

"A lot of schools were recruiting me but none as hard as Rice was. They were sending me hand written letters every 2 or 3 days from the whole staff."

Brackens has been a top target for the Owls and can play a number of skill positions. He's a tremendous athlete and gives the Owls an electric player who can play Cornerback and help on returns. He possesses excellent speed, quickness, and explosion as is evident in his personal best workout numbers: 4.38 forty, 41" Vertical leap, 500 pound Squat, and 300 pound Power Clean.

He will likely start out at Cornerback for the Owls and will have a chance to return punts and kicks. His nose for the ball really has the Owls excited.

"I'm a ballhawk. I'm always around the ball, I have a nose for it I think – and I love to hit people!"

Brackens had 7 Interceptions last year.

With his college decision now out of the way Andre told me he will get ready for his senior season.

"We start football on August 4th. I think we'll have a good team. Brant (Costilla, Bracken's teammate and Parish Episcopal QB) told me he thought he did well today at camp."

Before hanging up with Andre I asked him to name the one thing that set the Owls apart form other places.

"This team has a real tightness to it. They all hang out together, not just in little groups. Coach Bailiff talked a lot about family. He said he loved his players - sometimes its tough love - but that's good. There's a great relationship between the coaches and the players."

With only a couple spots left in the 2009 class the Owls have made two very speedy additions with their last two commits; and landed difference making prospects in the process.

Welcome to Rice, Andre!

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