Varnado’s Bickham signs with Rice

Published 4:11 pm Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Varnado senior Adrian Bickham recently signed a letter of intent to attend Rice University and play football for the Owls.
“Rice is one of the top five academic schools in the United States,” Bickham said. “It’s a top 20 in the world, so academics is a big thing, and plus, football right now, they’re in a rebuilding period and I consider myself a lethal part of the program. A wonderful piece that’ll fit in right in the pass rusher they need, really standup D-end and I’m that perfect guy for the job.”
Academically, Bickham has a 3.7 grade-point average and he made a 24 on ACT.
Athletically, Bickham played on both sides of the ball. He was a hybrid defensive lineman/outside linebacker and an offensive tackle.
This season, Bickham tallied 64 tackles, 14 for loss and he made eight sacks.
Bickham was a first-team all-district defensive lineman and second-team all-district offensive lineman in the 8-1A league.
Bickham also played in the Louisiana Gridiron Football All-Star Game that took place Dec. 28 at Louisiana College.
Bickham said that Rice runs mostly a 3-4 set, but added they switch in-and-out of it.
Bickham said he is very excited.
“I was a little nervous coming in, but through the grace of God, I made my decision and I just feel blessed because a lot of kids like me don’t have this opportunity,” Bickham said. “There’s a lot of kids out here that are way more talented than me that just didn’t get to have this opportunity.”
Varnado coach Anthony Hicks, who just completed his first year as Varnado’s head coach, said Bickham was a great player for them.
“Coming into the season, we really didn’t know too much about my team, but I knew about Adrian Bickham,” Hicks said. “He came in and filled some big shoes for us. He played on the offensive line. I always tell every recruiter that came through here that he didn’t have to.
“We knew that Adrian was going to be a D-I prospect and that he was possibly going to be playing on Saturdays at defensive end or even outside linebacker. For him to switch up and play at tackle on the offensive line, he didn’t have to do it, but that lets you know how a team player that he is. He is a big team player and he did everything I asked him to do.”
Hicks said that when it comes to football, Bickham’s motor never stops.
“I told all coaches that you’re going to get a player that when the lights are cut on, he will be there. He will play every down,” Hicks said. “He is a smart kid and it shows in the classroom. He wants to do better. He wants to succeed. I just pray that things continue to work out for him that he keeps his mind and everything else — God first and let everything else fall into place.”
Rice is located in Houston, Texas.
For those wanting to see Bickham play in person without having to drive to Houston, they will want to keep an eye on Rice’s schedule. The Owls play in the Western Division of Conference USA, which is in the same division as the University of Southern Mississippi. USM is about an hour from Bogalusa.
Bickham plans on majoring in mechanical engineering and hopes to get a job in a major refinery, or even better, be playing in the NFL.