April 18, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas - Rice University head men's golf coach Justin Emil announced the signing of Kevin Reilly (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty) and Paul Saad (Lexington, Ky./Sayre School) to National Letters of Intent on Thursday.
"I am thrilled to bring aboard Kevin Reilly and Paul Saad for the 2013-14 season," Emil said. "These two young men combined with our third freshman who signed in November, Alexander Levy, will add a lot of depth to our roster and will make an immediate impact on our team. All three scholar-athletes are exceptional students and will be a great addition to the Rice community. This is a strong recruiting class and it will help us create the momentum we need to vault this program into the NCAA tournament, which is our goal each season."
Reilly played for coach Brandi Malkovich at Paul J. Hagerty High School and led the team to a second Seminole Athletic Conference title as a senior, posting a 68 at the championship tournament and a 36.5 stroke average (per nine holes) for the season. He earned all-conference honors three times and reached regionals with the team in each of his four years. Most recently, he claimed the title at last weekend's Florida Junior Tour event at Lake Wales Country Club with a 138 (-6).
Academically, Reilly was named to the school's honor roll all four years, and was a High Honors recipient for posting a 4.0 grade point average throughout high school. Additionally, the son of Tim and Debra Reilly was named Hagerty's Wendy's High School Heisman winner and is an active member of the National Honor Society as well as the National Technical Honor Society.
Emil added, "Kevin is an outstanding young man with a strong work ethic and consistency that will make the transition to D-I college golf an easy process. His recent win in Florida proves he is ready to take the next step."
Saad comes to Rice from Lexington, Ky., where he was named the Central Kentucky Conference Player of the Year in 2012 after leading Sayre School to a win in the conference tournament as team captain in the fall. He finished as the league's scoring average leader at 35.2 (per nine holes), with only one round above par in the entire season.
Coached by Tim Bator, the Spartans notched an 8-1 record in 2012 and Saad placed second in the conference tournament with a two-under par 70. Prior to his senior season, Saad spent his junior year at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Saad was born in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he studied through his sophomore year of high school. The son of Aline and Edward Saad, he played soccer in high school and is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and math club.
Emil noted, "Paul has tournament experience all over the world combined with loads of talent and a decorated junior career. He is coming into his game nicely and I have no doubt he will thrive in an environment where he is challenged every day on and off the golf course."
The pair joins Alexander Villarreal-Levy, who inked an NLI in November's early signing period.
Rice competes for the Conference USA Championship beginning this weekend at the Texarkana Country Club in Texarkana, Ark. The 54-hole event begins on April 21 with one round per day.