After failing to sign anyone from Canada in last year's recruiting class, the Rice Owls are poised to reconnect the pipeline that has brought players like Scott Mitchell, Luke Willson, Hosam Shahin and Tolu Akinwumi to their Houston campus.
And in a big, big way.
Last Thursday night Owl Coach and Rice's primary recruiter for Canada, Darrell Patterson joined Head Coach David Bailiff in paying Christian Covington a visit to his Vancouver area home. The coaches walked away with Covington's commitment secured, and in the process landed the #1 Defensive Line prospect in Canada this year.
The 6-3 283 pounder could end up easily being the steal of this year's class.
Covington nearly committed on his trip to the Rice Campus last weekend, but since he made the trip without his parents waited until he got home to talk things over with them.
Just barely 17 years old, Christian made his American football debut when he played in the National Underclassman Combine All-Star Game played live on Fox College Sports on Friday, December 31st.
Covington had 4 tackles in the game going against some of the U.S.A.'s highest profile recruits...
Height: 6-2 3/4
Weight: 283 pounds
40 yard dash: 4.96 seconds
Bench: 335 pounds
Squat: 535 pounds
Power Clean: 290 pounds
Senior Season - Covington's Vancouver College Prep team won the the Provincial Championship on December 4, 2010, defeating the previously unbeaten and #1 ranked, Terry Fox Ravens 28-15. Christian had 83 tackles during the 14 game season, including 15 sacks. He also intercepted and returned a pass for a touchdown - one of two TD's he scored. The other came on a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.
The Scoop - Covington has tremendous hips, footwork, and hands. His father, a CFL Hall of Famer, has worked extensively with him on his technique. He possesses the quickness to play Defensive Tackle for Rice; but also has the size and strength to play Noseguard.
Freshman Forecast - It's going to be tough to keep Covington on the sidelines as a freshman. He's already got the size to play Division I football at a high level. If he can transition quickly he immediately gives the Rice interior Defensive Line a boost.
Did You Know... Christian's father, Grover Covington, had 157 sacks in 10 seasons with the Hamilton Tigercats? The elder Covington would have starred in the NFL if not for contractual obligations that kept him from leaving the Canadian Football League.
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