The record-setting signal caller confirmed his commitment earlier today after an in-home meeting with John Reagan, Rice’s run game coordinator.
Despite prolific statistics this season for the Chargers — 183 of 304 passes, 2,944 yards, 33 touchdowns, six interceptions — interest in Billups from colleges was minimal until recently and in the past two weeks he took official visits to Louisiana-Lafayette and Rice.
After visiting UL-L two weekends ago, Billups said the Ragin’ Cagins had offered him a preferred walk-on spot with the chance to earn a scholarship later.
On Sunday, after taking his official visit to Rice — located in Houston, Texas — Billups confirmed he had received an offer and earlier today he solidified his spot in the Owls’ 2011 signing class by giving his verbal commitment.
“They offered me a scholarship so they have a plan for me and want me to be their guy,” Billups said, adding that he understands he will obviously have to work hard and nothing will just handed to him. “I did commit this evening, so I’m going to be a Rice Owl.”
The one caveat to Billups’ commitment is that he will grayshirt and will not immediately join the team.
This means he can work out, but will be required to take a minimal course load and will not be eligible to practice until next spring’s semester.
In short, his clock will not begin until next January and as such his scholarship will count against Rice’s 2012 signing class.
Billups had originally planned to visit Delta State and Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond, La., this weekend, but said he will honor his commitment and cancel both visits.
SCOUTING THE OWLS: Last season the Rice Owls finished their season with a 4-8 record and had three quarterbacks attempt at least 50 passes, with former Alabama QB Nick Fanuzzi receiving the bulk of the work.
Rice averaged 28.7 points per game last season, sixth-most in Conference-USA, and averaged 215.9 passing yards per game (10th in C-USA).
Rice’s struggles in recent years didn’t deter Billups from the Owls after he talked with their coaching staff, which is currently in the middle of an overhaul.
“It’s definitely a program on the rise,” he said, “even with what happened last year.”
Billups reports a 3.79 GPA and a 28 ACT score, and as such will be a full qualifier academically. He said he would like to double major in economics and sports management with a minor in business.
Below is a highlight reel from Billups’ senior season in which he was named the MHSAA Clas 5A Offensive Player of the Year:
Billups is a player that has drawn comparisons to Boise State’s Kellen Moore.
During a television boadcast in December, recruiting analyst Tom Lemming called Billups his sleeper recruit:
“The sleeper of the year? Guy Billups, a 6-1, 180-pund quarterback from Oxford, Miss., who passed for 2,800 yards this season. He completed 70 percent of his passes. In his last three games, he completed 44 of 51 passes for 700 yards and 11 touchdowns. But he has no scholarship offers, not even any interest from his hometown university, Ole Miss. He reminds me of Drew Brees, who also had no offers coming out of high school.”
For much more from Billups, be sure to check Tuesday’s edition of the Oxford EAGLE. (January 24, 2011)