2015 Signing Day
Owls Add 18 on Signing Day 2016
Texas produces entire class
David Bailiff and his Rice Football coaching staff saw a year's worth of work come to fruition on Wednesday when they received the signatures of 18 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to join the Owls.
Sixteen of the 18 newest Owls come from Texas, while one comes from Louisiana and one from Missouri. The class includes four defensive linemen, three offensive linemen, three cornerbacks, two safeties, two quarterbacks, two running backs, one tight end and one kicker.
"This is always an exciting day because it payoff for so much work by so many people" Bailiff said. "For these young men, this is the beginning of a new phase of their lives as they have made the decision to continue their playing careers at Rice. They have seen what we've accomplished here and each is ready to come in and accept the challenge to continue to move this program forward. Many have been committed to us for a very long time, but despite the efforts of some schools to have them reconsider, they made it very clear that they wanted to join us at Rice." Bailiff added.
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown (High School/J.C.)|
|Zach Abercrumbia||DL||6-2||265||Dallas, TX (Skyline)|
|Christian Bertrand||SAF||6-0||190||Missouri City, TX (Hightower)|
|Justin Bickham||CB||6-1||170||Pflugerville, TX (Pflugerville)|
|Joshua Cummings||CB||5-11||175||Dallas, TX (Jesuit Prep)|
|Brandon Douglas||CB||5-11||175||Hutto, TX (Hutto)|
|Isaiah Edwards||OL||6-6||380||Katy, TX (Cinco Ranch)|
|Nahshon Ellerbe||RB||5-9||190||Frisco, TX (Trinity Christian Academy)|
|Emmanuel Esukpa||RB||6-1||220||Mansfield, TX (Mansfield)|
|Jack Fox||K/P||6-2||200||St. Louis, MO (Ladue Horton Watkins)|
|J.T. Granato||QB||6-3||210||Bellaire, TX (Kinkaid)|
|Crockett Mokry||OL||6-4||320||Pleasanton, TX (Pleasanton)|
|Castin Neumeyer||OL||6-5||265||Wylie, TX (Wylie)|
|Blain Padgett||DE||6-5||240||Sour Lake, TX (Hardin Jefferson)|
|Houston Robert||SAF||5-11||175||Baton Rouge, LA (Parkview Baptist)|
|Matt Terrill||TE||6-6||245||Austin, TX (Hyde Park)|
|Carl Thompson||DL||6-3||275||Denton, TX (Guyer)|
|Jackson Tyner||QB/ATH||6-4||225||Edgewood, TX (Edgewood)|
|Roe Wilkins||DL||6-3||255||Sour Lake, TX (Hardin Jefferson)|
|DT |6-2 | 265 | Dallas, TX (Skyline)|
All-District 9-6A, All-Area and second-team APSE All-State selection as a senior at Skyline High for coach Reggie Samples... Led Skyline to the 6A D1 semifinals... Team captain... Finished with 81 tackles, 22 of which were for loss (14 sacks), 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery and 20 quarterback hurries... Ranked by Dave Campbell's Texas Football as the #6 defensive tackle in its postseason edition and at #87 in their final Texas 150...Member of Dave Campbell's Texas Football's Texas Top 300 and listed as one of the top 25 defensive tackles...Member of the National Honor Society... Who's Who in High School... Ranked in the top 15% of his graduating class.
Bailiff on Abercrumbia "Zach is a very explosive and tenacious player with a high motor and the ability to make plays from sideline to sideline."
|SAF |6-0 |190 | Missouri City, TX (Hightower)|
Missed most of his senior season because of an injury... A member of the Houston Chronicle's Houston Top 100 and the Vype Magazine preseason Top 100 for coach Padriac McGinnis for the Hurricanes... Also earned two letters in track... Four-time Academic All-District selection... Carries a 3.6 GPA.
Bailiff on Bertrand: ""Christian is an intense and productive player. He has proven himself as a strong leader on and off the field."
|CB| 5-11 |170 | Pflugerville, TX (Pflugerville)|
First team All-District 13-6A as a junior as a cornerback and as a kick returner after earning all-district honors as a safety in his junior year for coach George Herrmann... Three-year letterman and two-year starter... Credited with 29 tackles and had one interception as a senior... National Honor Society member with a 3.70 GPA... Also a member of PALS.
Bailiff on Bickham: "Justin is very athletic, has good length and plays with great physicality. He has great cover skills and is an explosive return guy when he gets his hands on the ball."
|CB| 5-11 |175 | Dallas, TX (Jesuit Prep)|
All-District 9-6A as senior for coach Brandon Hickman at Dallas Jesuit Prep... Two-year starter for the Rangers... Father, Billy, played football at Texas Tech... National Achievement participant.... Rotary Youth Leadership Award winner... American African Outreach Society... High Ground Mission trips... Serves as a youth usher at his church.
Bailiff on Cummings: "Joshua plays with a physical temperament. He has great cover skills and tackles well in space."
|CB| 5-11 |175 | Hutto, TX (Hutto)|
First team All-District 17-5A as a senior wide receiver for coach Steve Van Meter, leading the Hippos to the state 5A Division II quarterfinals... Carries a 3.56 GPA... Also lettered in track and was a regional finalist in the 100 meters... Coached church league youth basketball.
Bailiff on Douglas: "Brandon is very quick and explosive. He can press and eliminate receivers at the point of attack. His speed and athleticism make him a great football player."
|OL | 6-6 | 380 | Katy, TX (Cinco Ranch)|
All-District 19-6A and All-City as a senior for coach Don Clayton at Cinco Ranch... Four-year letterman and three-year starter for the Cougars... Credited with 129 pancake blocks as a senior and over 290 in his career... Also lettered in basketball, averaging seven points and seven rebounds per game... Participates in Young Life Christian Ministry .
Bailiff on Edwards: "Isaiah has a combination of size, power and quickness that is exciting to see on the field. He is a space eater with unique athletic ability."
|RB | 5-9 | 190 | Frisco, TX (Trinity Christian Academy)|
TAPPS Division 1 All-State and All-District performer as a senior for coach Steve Hayes at Trinity Christian Academy... Offensive MVP... Rushed for 2,046 yards with 27 rushing touchdowns and caught 55 passes for 781 yards as a senior... Ran for 4,912 yards and scored 76 rushing touchdowns on the grounds in his career and added 1,871 yards and 15 touchdowns receiving... Ran track as a freshman and was named team MVP... National Honor Society member... National Art Honor Society... Academic All-State... Addison Rotary Club Student of the Month.
Bailiff on Ellerbe: "Nahshon is a very elusive runner. He has the ability to outrun the defense, but he also is not afraid to run over anybody that gets in his way"
|RB | 6-1 | 220 | Mansfield, TX (Mansfield)|
First team All-District 8-6A as a senior at Mansfield for coach Jeff Hulme ... Ran for 743 yards on 125 attempts (5.9 per carry) and scored 10 touchdowns... Added a 61-yard TD on his lone pass reception...Two-year starter... Also participate in track
Bailiff on Esukpa: "Emmanuel is a special athlete. At his size and with his speed, he is a problem for defenders in the open field."
|K/P | 6-2 | 200 | St. Louis, MO (Ladue Horton Watkins)|
All-State selection as a punter (first team) and placekicker (second team) as a senior for coach Mike Tarpey... Averaged 45.9 yards on 47 punts, while converting 49/50 PATs and 17/23 field goals as a senior... Set a Missouri state record with his 17 field goals... Threw for 1,900 yards and 18 touchdowns and ran for three more as the Rams starting quarterback... Ranked by Kohls as the 13th best punter and 15th best kicker in the nation... Suburban Central Conference Player of the Year as a catcher in baseball as a junior, batting .489... AP Scholar.
Bailiff on Fox: "Jack has a very strong leg for both kicking and punting, but he also has great composure on the field because of his time playing quarterback."
|QB | 6-3 | 210 | Bellaire, TX (Kinkaid)|
Three-time All Southwest Preparatory Conference selection and the player of the year as a senior for coach Nathan Larned... Completed 62% of his passes as a senior and compiled a 115.1 quarterback rating...Threw for over 9,000 yards and 81 touchdowns in his three seasons with the Falcons... Led them to the SPC title as a junior... Ranked by Dave Campbell's Texas Football as the #10 quarterback in its postseason edition ...Member of DCTF's Texas Top 300 and listed as one of the top 30 quarterbacks heading into his senior year... Also lettered in basketball and baseball... Plays the guitar and piano.
Bailiff on Granato: "J.T. is a real student of the game. He combines intelligence with great accuracy when throwing the football. He is a very competitive football player with a great deal of experience."
|OL | 6-4 | 320 | Pleasanton, TX (Pleasanton)|
All-District 15-4A D1 pick as a senior for coach Tab Dumont... Earned first-team 3A APSE All-State honors as a junior before Pleasanton moved up a classification... Lined up in the backfield occasionally, scoring a touchdown and rushing for 45 yards... Three year starter... District champ in discus... On the A-B Honor Roll for three years... Brother (Boone) is a senior pitcher at UTSA.
Bailiff on Mokry: "Crockett plays powerful at the point of attack yet he's athletic enough to pull and pass protect. He plays with a low center of gravity."
|OL | 6-5 | 265 |Wylie, TX (Wylie)|
All-District 10-5A and honorable mention APSE All-State selection as a senior for coach Bill Howard... Three year starter for the Pirates... Two-year letterman in track, throwing the shot and discus... Academic All-State honorable mention... FCA leader and also serves as a leader in the New Hope youth group.
Bailiff on Neumeyer: "Castin has great reach and a frame with tremendous growth potential combined with the ability to play multiple positions across the offensive line."
|DE | 6-5 | 240 |Sour Lake, TX (Hardin Jefferson)|
Defensive MVP and All-District 9-4A DII pick for coach Dwayne Dubois... Named to the Beaumont Enterprise Super Gold Team... One of two Hawks to sign with the Owls, joining defensive tackle Roe Wilkins... Credited with 145 tackles as a senior, including 20 for loss (eight sacks)... Had 417 tackles, 24 sacks, blocked four punts and two PATs in his career... Four-year starter... District champion in shot and discus as a junior... National Honor Society member... Father (Mical) was a linebacker at Texas from 1987-91 and returned a fumbled punt for a touchdown vs. Oklahoma in 1989.
Bailiff on Padgett: "Blain loves football, plain and simple. He brings a game day level of passion to everything he does."
|SAF | 5-11 |175 | Baton Rouge, LA (Parkview Baptist)|
Second team All-State selection as a senior for coach Jay Mayet at Parkview Baptist... Led team to state title game as a senior after winning state crown as a junior... Two-time, all-district second team selection.
Bailiff on Robert: "Houston is extremely fast and uses that speed to make plays all over the field. Because of his athleticism he has the ability to contribute in all 3 phases of the game."
|Pos. | 6-6 |24 | Austin, TX (Hyde Park)|
TAPPS All-State selection as a junior for coach Dean Campbell and a two-time, all-district selection... Two-year starter who helped lead the Panthers to the state semifinals as a junior ... Twice named to the TAPPS Academic All-State squad... Eagle Scout.
Bailiff on Terrill: "Matt has great natural size and potential for future growth. He excels in run blocking and has the hands to make him a great tight end."
|DL | 6-3 | 275 | Denton, TX (Guyer)|
All-District selection for three consecutive years for coach John Walsh as Guyer won state titles in his sophomore and junior seasons... Ranked by Dave Campbell's Texas Football as the #8 defensive end in its postseason edition and at #130 in their final Texas 150...Member of Dave Campbell's Texas Football's Texas Top 300 and listed as one of the top 25 defensive linemen... Limited to five games as a senior, but was credited with 46 tackles, including six sacks, forced two fumbles, recovered one and broke up three passes... Credited with 210 tackles in his career, including 34 sacks, forced five fumbles, recovered three, broke up 25 passes and intercepted four... Academic All-District... Mentors third graders in spare time.
Bailiff on Thompson: "Carl is a very skilled player with a knack for making game changing plays in key situations. He has great strength and is a very skilled pass rusher."
|QB/ATH | 6-4 | 225 | Edgewood, TX (Edgewood)|
Multi-talented All-District 6-3A selection at Edgewood for coach Ryan Simmons...Ranked by Dave Campbell's Texas Football as the #10 tight end in its postseason edition ...Member of Dave Campbell's Texas Football's Texas Top 300 and listed as one of the top 30 quarterbacks... All-District pick in basketball and state qualifier in the discus... Father, Matt, was an offensive lineman at New Mexico...Grandfather, Tom Tyner, was a three-year letterman at Rice (1965-67) and led the Owls in receiving in Jess Neely's last season (27 receptions for 295 yards and three TDs) before moving to defensive end in his final two years... Uncle, Scott Tyner, was a punter at Oklahoma State who also played one season for the Atlanta Falcons... Carries a 4.0 GPA and received the Superintendent's Award... Participated in the Model UN and Academic Pentathlon.
Bailiff on Tyner: "Jackson is big bodied athlete with a very strong arm. He has great versatility which affords him the ability to play multiple positions."
|DL | 6-3 | 255 | Sour Lake, TX (Hardin Jefferson)|
All-District 9-4A DII selection on both offense and defense at Sour Lake for coach Dwayne Dubois... Named to the Beaumont Enterprise Super Gold Team.. One of two Hawks to sign with the Owls, joining defensive end Blain Padgett... Credited with 68 tackles, including 14.5 sacks and four pass breakups on defense in addition to 48 pancake blocks on offense... Credited with 180 tackles, 24 sacks, eight PBUs and 106 pancake blocks in his career... Area finalist in the shot in track... Competes in powerlifting... National Honor Society member...Serves on the HJHS Student Council.
Bailiff on Wilkins: "Roe is a very dynamic player who has the ability to do a great many things on the field. He plays well with his hands and plays with great leverage."