Gaddis: Rapid Returns

Piece by piece, the Rice Owl football team is building something special on South Main. The guys in Blue and Gray added a dynamic Return Specialist and Cornerback when Midwest City, Oklahoma's Kevin Gaddis joined the class last weekend...

The Rice Owls added one more piece to the challenging puzzle that is building a C-USA Championship program last weekend when they picked up Midwest City, Oklahoma Cornerback/Kick Returner Kevin Gaddis.

Gaddis had committed to Wyoming earlier in the week, unsure of whether the team he liked most, Rice, would offer him a scholarship.

The Owls obviously did last weekend on Gaddis' visit to Houston and he jumped at the chance to become an Owl.

Though Gaddis' will be in the mix at Cornerback for Rice, the shifty Midwest City Bomber could also quickly elevate the potency of Rice Special Teams units. He is a standout Kick and Punt Returner.

He was an All Oklahoma City "Big City" selection as a Kick Returner this year. Gaddis was also a Class 6A All-State selection as a Receiver this past season by the Oklahoma Coaches Association.

Kevin caught 41 passes for 580 yards and 9 touchdowns as a senior. He also had 38 tackles and 2 interceptions as a Cornerback.

Speed and ellusiveness are keys to his game, and he put them on display last spring at the Kansas City Under Armour/Scout Combine.

Gaddis dazzled on-lookers by running the second fastest 40 time of over 90 attending athletes and also posted the second fastest pro-shuttle time at 4.12 seconds. On the day, he finished in the Top 5 of every event at the Combine - 40 yard dash, pro-shuttle, vertical leap, 3-cone drill, and standing broad jump. That performance landed him on the map of a lot of schools. However his recorded size gave some reason for pause: 5-8 152 pounds.

The good news for Rice is that a lot of teams perhaps passed on Kevin because of his slightly less than ideal college size. Rice coaches recruited the player - and not the numbers though; and now is seeing its instincts pay off. Kevin has grown, he is currently up to 5-9 170 pounds.

Though size may have been a question for some colleges, it never was for Rice, or for Gaddis.

"I've never really thought about how big or small I am. I'm just a football player. I've always made plays as much with heart and desire as anything else. I think I play bigger than I actually am because I have such a strong will and determination to win each play."

Rice is fortunate to land a player with such mettle. But Gaddis feels just as fortunate to have landed a spot with the Owls.

"I committed to Wyoming last week because they told me if I didn't they weren't sure they'd have a spot for me. I didn't have a Rice offer at that point and I wasn't sure they were going to offer me. They did and things worked out. I really loved the academics at Rice. I loved the atmosphere and the coaches were great. My parents loved it too. I really liked Coach Washington, he's a great guy. I think the program is really on the rise. Its just where I want to be."

Another great pickup by the Rice Owl Coaching staff. Welcome to Rice, Kevin!

Gaddis Profile

Kevin really has a chance to help the Owls on returns in 2009. He has excellent vision and moves - and importantly can make people miss. Would have played Running Back if he was a little bigger. Has excellent hands and was All-State at Receiver. As a Defensive Back has an excellent understanding of angles and positioning; makes good decisions and maintains good field awareness. Excellent break on the ball and recovery speed. Great ball skills and plays the ball at its highest point. Also plays baseball - all the middle positions, SS, 2B, Center Field, and even pitches.

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