July 21, 2012

Patience Pays Off for Owls

The Rice Owls under David Bailiff have never incorporated high-pressure sales tactics in their approach to recruiting, instead selling education and opportunities for only those that "want to be Owls".

That strategy paid off this afternoon when after waiting nearly 6 months after offering him, Rice gained the commit of Rivals 3-star Offensive Lineman Kenneth Thompson. The 6-4 285 pounder from Houston Langham Creek HS chose Rice over an offer Mississippi State of the SEC.

Though Thompson was at the least, methodical in his approach, he told us that Rice was at the top from the beginning.

"I was very impressed with Rice and their coaches from the very beginning. But I also made it clear to everyone that when I committed that would be it, there would be no going back on my word. For that reason I didn't want to rush the process. I sat down with my family last night and decided that Rice would be the best place for me. I'm very happy with my decision."

Though in the end he chose Rice, the process he mentioned took a little longer than expected, especially considering the fact that Langham Creek Head Coach Todd Thompson (no relation) is a 1992 Rice graduate and Langham Creek Offensive Line Coach Joe Wheeler's college OL coach was current Rice OL Coach Ronnie Vinklarek. Add to that the fact that Kenneth's parents made no secret of the fact that their first choice was Rice, and it seemed early on that Thompson would certainly be headed to South Main.

But, his parents also asserted that the choice would ultimately be Kenneth's to make.

And fortunately for Rice, after a lengthy wait his choice was to be an Owl.

Kenneth Thompson Profile

Height: 6-3 1/2
Weight: 283
40 yard dash: 5.06 seconds
Shuttle: 4.49 seconds
Vertical Jump: 31"
Bench Press: 350 pounds
Squat: 465 pounds
Power Clean: 315 pounds

Injury Setback - Thompson got a ton of interest in spring evaluations - but a broken hand kept him from attending any camps this summer.

Education Important - Kenneth plans on majoring in Engineering at Rice; and that's something that recruiters from other schools told him was impossible to do while playing football. Actually, recent Rice graduate and former starting Free Safety Travis Bradshaw did it, and quite successfully. Bradshaw just accepted an Engineering position making over $100K per year.

Future Teammates, But Rivals For Now - 2013 Owl Quarterback commit Nate German plays in the same Cy-Fair ISD district as Langham Creek, making him a rival for the district championship. However, looking forward, German has reached out to Thompson in recent weeks, hoping to convince him to join him at Rice.

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