Cy Falls teammates commit to Rice football

February 6, 2008 4:13:52 PM PST
Rice's football program announced the signing of 17 high school seniors to national letters of intent to play for the Owls beginning in the fall of 2008."It has been a wonderful day," Rice coach David Bailiff said. "We signed 17 young men who are a great fit at Rice. They are a great academic fit and a great athletic fit. They are difference-makers, not only in this program, but in life.

"We knew that when we started that we needed to increase the athleticism on this team. We wanted to increase our team speed and increase our team size. We fit all of our needs," Bailiff stated.

The Owls signed 13 players from Texas. Five are from the Houston area. One of the players the Owls convinced to stay home and play at Rice was Cy Falls running back Shane Turner.

"When you talk about increasing our speed, you have to talk about Shane Turner," Bailiff said. "He was a finalist for the Houston Offensive Player of the Year. He makes people miss. We needed a running back that every time he carries the ball, you get the extra point team ready, and I think we did that," Bailiff said.

Bailiff noted the Owls relationships with local coaches was an important factor in their haul of Houston-area talent.

"We had a lot of help from the high school coaches, who know what Rice stands for," he said. "We could not have had the success we have had without their great work."

In addition to Turner and fellow Cy Falls senior Denzel Wells, a wide receiver, other Houston area players who signed with Rice include: Eric Ball (linebacker, Katy); John Gioffre (defensive lineman, Cinco Ranch); Clay Hebert (offensive lineman, Klein).

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