By Chuck Pool (email@example.com)
David Bailiff and his Rice Football coaching staff welcomed the newest additions to the Rice Football family on Wednesday when 18 Texas high school products signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Owls.
"This is always an exciting day because it's the payoff for a great deal of work," Bailiff said. "Signing Day is the focus of all the attention, but the results today are the result of a year's worth of hard work by our staff. As in years past, we identified a talented group of players who continued to improve during their senior years but held firm on their commitment to become Owls, despite offers from a number of schools as this process wound down."
The 2016 signing class is made up of four defensive backs and defensive linemen, three offensive linemen, wide receivers and linebackers, one tight end and one quarterback. There are 11 players who played at the 6A level, three from 5A, two from 3A and one each from TAPPS and SPC divisions. Seven players prepped in the Houston area.
The class includes nine players who earned Academic All-State honors and four others who earned district academic honors.
One player (Collin Whitaker of Prestonwood Academy) played for a state champion (TAPPS D1). Two players (Kylen Granson of Westlake in 6A D1 and Will Phillips of Franklin in 3A D2) concluded their seasons at NRG Stadium in Houston by playing in state championship games; and a third (Jack Greene of Ridge Point) reached the state semifinals.