Time To Reload

With a small senior Class of 2010 due to several early graduates, Owl recruiting for the 2010 Recruiting Class will perhaps take on a very selective strategy. Here's a brief summary of a few Owl targets for 2010...

Seems like the ink is barely dry on the Class of 2009, and already 2010 recruiting is underway. While Rice has already begun evaluating targets, they aren't on the accelerated pace that some schools are on. Barely two weeks after Signing Day for 2009, the University of Texas has 11 verbal commits already. However, with a select number of scholarships to fill the next class, and academic qualifications to establish, Rice will certainly be on a different, if not slightly more "calculated" schedule.

Here's an early look at 2010 recruiting.

Rice loaded up on Defensive Secondary recruits with the recent the Class of 2009, after going heavy on Offense in 2008 - I would expect a pretty balanced class for 2010.

So here are a few possibilities:

QB - (1) Not a must but if the Owls find a really great one they will take one. While Connor Wood certainly fits the "really great" descriptive, he committed to Texas recently after giving the Owls a look early in the process. Tyler Arndt of Cuero is another big (6-4) and athletic (4.6) target.

RB - (1) Again, with the signing of Charles Ross and other young players at the position the Owls should be in good shape for a while, but will take a "difference maker" if available. Tyler McCray, Josh Bell, and Cameron Nwosu are Rice targets.

WR - (1-2) In the Spread Offense of course you always need talented Wide Receivers. The Owls signed two a couple weeks ago, but will also lose 2 after 2009. Rice wanted a big Receiver in 2009, but narrowly missed on several. Jordan Leslie of Tomball and Randy Knust of The Woodlands are two top-flite local talents, while Cibolo Steele's Sheldon McClain is another big (6-3) talent from San Antonio.

TE - (1) The Owls didn't sign a TE in 2009, but have several young players waiting in the wings at the position. One of the best in the state for 2010 is Dylan Klare of Refugio. He's got soft hands and is already put together like a college athlete. He's a devastating blocker as well. Some see him as a DE; either way he has an early offer from Rice.

OL - (1-2) The Owls recently landed a terrific group of Offensive Linemen, including versatile Cade Shaw, and bookend Offensive Tackles Jon Hodde and Bobby Janisch. While Shaw has been mentioned as a possible Guard or Center, the Owls will likely try to land a couple more interior players. Robert Luce of Dallas Episcopal camped at Rice last summer and is an excellent Center prospect. Another Private school standout is Mitch Morse of Austin St. Michael's. Pflugerville's Tyrus Thompson has a Rice offer and also attended a Rice game last fall.

DT - (2) With Chance Talbert finishing his eligibility this season the Owls need another Defensive Tackle. Its very early for names at the position but Robert Scarpati of Cy-Ridge and William Buckwalter of Bellaire Episcopal are a couple of intriguing prospects.

DE - (1) This position has quickly become filled with talent at Rice, a school that surprisingly has produced several pro Defensive Ends: N.D. Kalu, Terrance Melton, Brandon Green, and John Syptak. Cedar Park's Holmes Onwukaife (pictured) creates a great burst off the edge (sub 4.6 forty) from his athletic 6-3 225 pound frame. Some like him as a Linebacker in college. He's also holding a Rice offer.

LB - (2) Rice has been hit particularly hard by injuries at the Linebacker position. They've struggled to find depth as a result. They just signed two really good ones in Nic Hammett and Trey Briggs but will be looking for a couple more for 2010. There are several good ones in the state this year - locally Rice is high on James Radcliffe of Cinco Ranch and Ray Oppman of Fort Bend Clements.

S - (1-2) Rice is always looking for good Safeties, mostly because the position is critical for operating a successful 4-2-5 Defense. Rice may have the best 3 in C-USA right now and just signed several more good ones; but another really hard hitting prospect is always welcome. Desmond Martin of Round Rock Stony Point, Carrington Byndom of Lufkin, Sam Holl of Katy, Zachary Winbush of Schertz Clemens, and Harvey Jackson of Fort Bend Hightower are all outstanding prospects.

CB - (1-2) Rice lost Brandon King, JaCorey Shepherd, and Chris Douglas to graduation this year and though they signed several Corner prospects recently are still a player or two short at the position. Austin Westlake's Louie Swope, Navasota's Kye Hildreth, and Atascocita's Fred Blow are just a few Owl targets.

Rice will host its first Junior Day on March 28th, the same day of its Spring Game.

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