2009 Recruits – Weekly Game Recaps

Star quality isn't lacking in the Rice Owl 2009 Recruiting Class, and this week you can expect to be dazzled once again by some outstanding individual performances. Read more inside…

Seems like "outstanding" is the norm for the Rice Recruiting Class of 2009. Their talent displays are providing the assurance that while the current state of the program is much improved – the future looks to be even brighter given the talent they will bring to the Rice Campus next summer.

Andre Brackens – RB/CB, Dallas Parish Episcopal

Dallas Parish Episcopal 44

Dallas First Baptist 28

Parish Episcopal is undefeated this year behind the play of several Division I prospects – all in the offensive backfield. In fact DPE has one of the most talented offensive skill groups in the whole Metro area, regardless of classification. Though Andre Brackens remains firm in his desire to play defense at the next level, his offensive output continues to impress week after week. This week he led DPE in rushing with 174 yards, on just 12 carries. That's an impressive 14.5 ypc average. Brackens averages about one catch per game, and usually for big yardage. His average per catch coming into Friday's game was a ridiculous 72 yards - he didn't quite achieve that this week but did haul in a 37 yard strike toss from QB Brant Costilla. Andre scored twice in the game – once on a 2-point conversion, and then again on a 25 yard TD run. On defense he had 2 pass break-ups from his Cornerback position. He also made 6 tackles. Another game, another outstanding performance by Andre.

Alex Francis – CB, FB Hightower

Fort Bend Hightower 45

Fort Bend Austin 7

When Alex Francis committed to Rice in early June not many people outside the Rice coaching staff knew of Francis' playmaking ability. The Owls had done their homework on Francis however and wasted no time in offering him a scholarship, his only offer coming from SMU at that time. The move needed no justification, for the Rice staff has shown sound decision making in its brief time recruiting here. But now, the football community, especially other colleges, are seeing exactly what prompted the Owls to move so quickly in securing his commit. Francis just makes plays from his Cornerback position. He's not the biggest guy, but he's exceptionally quick, and extremely fast. Francis is the epitome of a lock down corner. If you saw his highlight interception last week you also saw that Francis plays with exceptional technique and puts himself in the proper positions to make plays on the field. Alex has just been exceptional in coverage for the powerful Hightower team. He's allowed only one touchdown all year and has already notched 2 interceptions. Last weekend in Hightower's blowout win over FB Austin he added an 81 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He had 6 tackles on defense.

Nic Hammett – LB/TE, Rockdale

Rockdale 54

Madisonville 2

After getting a wake-up call in a loss to Cameron last week, Rockdale and Nic Hammett got back on track with a huge win over Madisonville Friday night. Hammett and his teammates held Texas commit Chris Whaley to just 52 yards on 19 carries. Hammett had 8 tackles on the night and also carried the ball once for 5 yards. Nic has 85 tackles in just 6 games this season.

Broderick Jackson – RB/S, Kirbyville

Kirbyville 39

Crockett 6

Kirbyville came up with a big victory over Class 3A Crockett, who has a couple of Division I players on their roster and has been ranked in the top 10 statewide this year. Broderick Jackson had a big night on offense, scoring 3 touchdowns in the first half on the way to 120 yards rushing in the game. Jackson carried the ball 15 times, posting an 8 yards per carry rushing average. On defense he had 9 solo tackles with 1 assist. Broderick called me from the bus on their way home to Kirbyville to give me his stats and we talked for 20 minutes or so. He said he's secure with his commit to Rice but is hearing some negative recruiting about his choice, namely that the academics will be extremely challenging. I reminded Broderick that he was offered a scholarship because he had already proven he was an outstanding student, and that the class sizes at Rice provide a much better learning environment than most other institutions. The fact that this is happening shouldn't come as a surprise – this group is talented, and they will continue to be targeted by other schools.

Jarek Lancaster – QB/LB, San Antonio O'Connor

San Antonio Warren 33

San Antonio O'Connor 14

This was the spotlight game of the week in San Antonio and unfortunately Jarek's O'Connor team came up on the short end of things. Warren is loaded with talent this year, including Defensive Tackle Calvin Howell, a Texas Longhorn commit. Lancaster did throw a 57-yard pass for a touchdown in the losing effort.

Paul Porras – CB/WR, Scottsdale Saguaro

Scottsdale Saguaro 23

Paradise Valley 19

For the first time this year, Saguaro was truly tested in a game. The game was close for 4 quarters, Paradise Valley had 4 field goals, their kicker being one of the best in the state. But Paul Porras had a big hand in the outcome of this one, and like others in this class has shown to be at his best when the game is on the line. Down 19-16 late in the 4th quarter, Porras made a big time play. With Saguaro on its own 20, Porras got separation on a skinny post to haul in a pass at midfield, from there he outran the Paradise Valley secondary to the end zone, giving Saguaro a 23-19 lead. His touchdown would prove to be the game winner. On the night, Porras had 3 big catches – 33 yards, 42 yards, and the 80 game winner. His stats were 3 catches for 155 yards. One of those catches came while Boise St. commit Ebo Makinde was covering him. Makinde runs 4.4 in the forty. On defense, Porras had 10 solo tackles and 1 assist playing Cornerback.

Charles Ross – RB, Schertz Clemens

Schertz Steele 45

Schertz Clemens 35

Steele won this backyard brawl between the two North San Antonio teams. Clemens has lost two in a row now, but Charles Ross keeps rolling. He had 120 yards on 20 carries in the losing effort, adding 2 first half scores. One of them was a 20 yard sprint right before the half.

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