Originally published on Thursday, June 28, 2012
• Ty Slanina, ATH, East Bernard, TCU
• Ja'Braylin Thomas, OL, Weimar, Houston
• Cole Hunt, TE, El Campo, Rice
• Trey Martin, C, El Campo, Rice
One of the first people Cole Hunt met when he moved to El Campo in eighth grade was Trey Martin.
The seniors became close friends going to school together and playing football for the Ricebirds.
"I got to know him when he moved here," Martin said. "We've been like best friends ever since."
"He was one of my first friends when I moved here," Hunt said. "We talk football all the time."
Hunt and Martin will continue to be football teammates on the college level after announcing commitments to play at Rice University in the 2013 season.
Hunt and Martin will become the first pair of El Campo football players to sign with the same Division I school in the same year.
"Number one, Rice is a great school for academics," said El Campo coach Bob Gillis. "I think coach (David) Bailiff and his staff are doing a great job is getting that program going."
Rice offered Hunt in the spring, but he waited to commit until making an unofficial visit to the Houston campus earlier this month.
"I wanted to talk to them about education stuff, like what the football players major in," said Hunt, who also had an offer from North Texas. "I wanted to see the dorms and how they would use me in football."
Martin accompanied Hunt on the visit and left a highlight tape for the coaches. He returned later that week for a camp and received an offer.
"They have great academics," Martin said. "It's close to home and I'll have my best friend with me."
Hunt and Martin were second-team All-District 23-4A selections at defensive end and on the offensive line, respectively, as juniors.
Hunt also plays tight end, the position he is likely to play at Rice.
"I like tight end a lot," the 6-foot-7, 245-pound Hunt said. "I started playing there as a sophomore and it's a big part of their offense."
Martin plays offensive and defensive tackle at El Campo, but is expected to move to center for the Owls.
"They worked me out at center when I was at the camp and I did all right with my snaps," the 6-3, 265-pound Martin said. "I've been practicing a lot with Cole and he takes the snaps."
Hunt's older brother, Joey, graduated from El Campo in the spring and will play at TCU this season.
"He told me he thought I would fit in good," Cole Hunt said. "It's been a dream of mine and him to play Division I college football and it's going to become a reality."
Gillis is looking forward to coaching Hunt and Martin this season and watching them play in the future.
"Cole has so much upside," Gillis said. "His future is so bright. He's going to get so big when he gets there.
"The same is true for Trey. He's 17 so he's going to continue to grow. They're both smart kids and should do very well."
Commitments cannot be made official until Feb. 6, 2013, national signing day.