Parkview Baptist’s Houston Robert commits to Rice _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BRIANNA PACIORKA -- Parkview Baptist's Houston Robert

Parkview Baptist running back Houston Robert doesn’t mind improvising on the field or changing positions. Those factors made it easy for the 6-foot, 180-pound senior to commit to Rice University on Tuesday.

“My dad and I took a visit there over the weekend, and we were just blown away,” Robert said. “The facilities are great, and they’re working to upgrade them so they’ll be even better when I get there.

“The academic programs there are awesome. They won (the Conference USA) title last year. It’s an up-and-coming program and those two factors, the academics and the program itself, were the big reasons why I picked Rice.”

Robert said he is being projected as a safety by the Owls. In addition to the Houston-based school, Robert also had offers from Northwestern State and Louisiana-Monroe. Other schools expressing interest included Louisiana-Lafayette, McNeese State, Louisiana Tech and several Ivy League schools.

“I owe a lot to (PBS coach Jay Mayet and former coach Kenny Guillot) for getting me started and sticking with me,” Robert said. “And I have to thank my teammates.”

An honor student who has already met the NCAA’s academic qualifying standards, Robert said he plans to major in business.