Birmingham Brother Rice football fans should take comfort in the fact that another one of their beloved Warriors has found a home at a very good school at the next level. In the days leading up to the start of practice for the 2010 season yesterday, senior tight end/defensive end, Conor Hart, verbally committed to Vanderbilt of the SEC. Hart is big and fast on both sides of the ball, although he will most likely be lining up on the defensive line for the Commodores in college. Stemming from a rich gridiron pedigree - his grand dad is Heisman Trophy winner, Leon Hart, who played in the NFL for nearly a decade with the Detroit Lions and his dad is Kevin Hart, a member of a National Championship football team while at Notre Dame in the 1970s - Conor has remained in the shadows of more higher-profile teammates and recruits the past two seasons. That is all set to change this fall as the Rice coaching staff has been installing a number of specific plays in its offensive and defensive playbook to take advantage of the big fella's talents. Hart is expected to see time this year at several spots, including tight end, o-line, d-line, linebacker and possibly safety.
At 6-5 250, with 4.5 speed and gignormous hands, Hart is a coach's dream and will be a captain this season for the Warriors. Along with fellow D1 recruits, nose tackle Levi Richards, linebacker Tim "Jumbo" Hamilton and strong safety Jimmy Pickens, not to mention fast-improving defensive lineman and junior sack specialist, Dylan Anderson, Hart will headline a defense that is certain to be one of the best in the state. Hamilton committed to Central Michigan in July.
Last season, Rice stormed through the playoffs, pulling a series of upsets on its way to the D2 final four. Even though they probably won't be in the role of underdog this year, Burney expects more of the same from his boyz in Black and Orange in the coming weeks and months!!!!
Congrats Conor on the AWESOME HONOR of becoming a D1 football STUD!!!! Your boy, Burney always knew you had it in you....see past blog entries written specifically about you as proof!! lol....