One man (and a very successful season) changed Shahin's familiarity with Rice. Of course I'm talking about Rice Running Backs Coach Darrell Patterson, who recruits Canada for the Owls. Patterson played in the CFL for years and has an extensive network of relationships there.
"I first talked to Coach Patterson about 4 months ago. Its funny I had just finished a practice where I didn't do some things as well as I should have and I was a little down on myself. Turns out Coach Patterson was there that day and called that night. The first thing he asked was if I had ever heard of Rice? I told him no - and he said well look us up on-line. I did and immediately became interested. Coach Patterson has written me just about every day since - and called every time he was allowed to. He's done a great job of recruiting me."
Obviously Shahin knows all about Rice now, having committed on his official visit last Saturday.
"I loved the winning attitude at Rice. Everyone is focused on getting better and growing. Everyone was very accomodating and friendly. I've been other places on trips where that wasn't the case. The staff made me and my dad feel at home."
Hosam (pronounced HO-sam) was hosted by fellow Canadian Scott Mitchell on his trip. I asked if the two got along well and Shahin had this to say.
"Yes, Scott's a good guy. But he's very competitive. We had a little bit of natural rivalry going because he's an Offensive Lineman and I'm Defensive Lineman," Hosam said with a laugh.
I mentioned earlier that the number of Canadians increased by "2" last weekend - the other Canadian to commit was fantastic athlete Tolu Akinwumi, who actually roomed with Shahin at Rice last weekend.
"Tolu is an awesome athlete, he's totally ripped. We talked for a long time about our commitments. We both committed on Saturday. He's very solid with his decision, as am I." (We'll have more on Akinwumi in a coming feature).
Owl Fans, with Patterson's success recruiting up north, I'd suggest we all learn the words to "Oh, Canada"...
Here's more on Hosam.
Hosam is currently 6-3 1/2 265 pounds, and regularly runs the 40 "in the low 4.9's". He has the frame to become a very powerful Defensive Tackle in college. Has a rugged build with thick bone structure. Grew dramatically from junior to senior year. Will play "3-technique" for the Owls. Plays with excellent quickness, leverage, and pad level. Overpowered competition at prep level, but will have to expand his game at next level. Throws the Discus in track. Father is from Gaza, Palestine; Mother is originally from Utah.
Weight Room Stats:
Bench Press: 325 pounds
Squat: 515 pounds
Power Clean: 275 pounds
63 Tackles, 8 Sacks, 16 Tackles For Loss, 2 Forced Fumbles.
Welcome to Rice, Hosam!