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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Houston
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  For as long as he can remember, Nathaniel Dell has drawn attention on the football field. Before he would become a preseason All-America wide receiver at the University of Houston, young "Tank" was making defenders miss as a running back on the Little League fields in Daytona Beach, Fla. "When I get the ball in my hands, I'm comfortable, because I've been having the ball in my hands since I was 6 years old," Dell said Thursday during a videoconference with reporters. "I had everybody there wanting to see me play. I just made a lot of plays - the same as what I'm doing right now." Years later, Dell continues to draw a crowd and attention, especially from defensive coordinators whose job is to devise Saturday game plans to stop one of the nation's top returning receivers.

It was a futile effort last season as Dell produced one of the best seasons by a receiver in UH history: 90 catches, 1,329 yards and 12 touchdowns. "This year, after what I did last year, I'm going to get a lot of attention on the offense and have defenses trying to cover me from everywhere," Dell said. Offseason roster additions should take a lot of the pressure off UH to rely heavily on playing Dell at one of the outside receiver spots. Instead, coach Dana Holgorsen envisions Dell lining up in the slot - the space between the end of the offensive line and an outside receiver - and becoming an even bigger matchup problem for opposing defenses. "He's an elite inside receiver," Holgorsen said. "He's unguardable," quarterback Clayton Tune added. "He's really unguardable anywhere on the field, but especially in the slot." - Houston Chronicle


rJr/2024 WR Nathaniel DellHouston
News Source: Houston Chronicle
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  For the first time in six years, the University of Houston will begin the season ranked. UH was No. 25 in the preseason USA Today AFCA Coaches Poll released Monday, marking the first time the Cougars have been ranked in the preseason since 2016. The Cougars received 257 points from a panel of 66 coaches, which includes Dana Holgorsen, that vote in the weekly poll. UH is coming off a 12-2 season and was recently picked to win the American Athletic Conference. Alabama was the preseason No. 1, followed by Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson and Notre Dame. - Houston Chronicle

rSr/2023 FS Gervarrius OwensHouston
News Source: Houston Chronicle
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  As the morning sun beat down on the practice field Thursday, the first day of the University of Houston's football preseason camp, Matthew Golden looked like a seasoned veteran rather than a true freshman. Golden, a first-year receiver from Klein Cain, made a move to the right and snagged the ball in the air with one hand before taking off downfield. He made another catch. And another. On campus since January, Golden has already drawn praise from coaches and teammates. His position coach, Daikiel Shorts Jr., said Golden has the physique of a "Greek god." Nathaniel "Tank" Dell, likely envisioning big passing numbers paired with Golden this fall, offered a recent preview: "That man is going to be special. You're going to see this year." Then came Thursday morning, when coach Dana Holgorsen confirmed what many had speculated: Go ahead and pencil Golden into a starting spot at one of UH's outside receiver spots. "Right now, Matt Golden is the starting 'Z' receiver. I can tell you that right now," Holgorsen told reporters before the first practice.

Golden, who turned 19 on Monday, brings impressive credentials to the Cougars. He had more than two dozen scholarship offers, switching his commitment from TCU to UH in the final month before the December signing period. He is rated the third-highest ranked player to sign with the Cougars in the modern recruiting era, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, behind only defensive tackle Ed Oliver (2016) and wide receiver Deontay Greenberry (2012). "I feel like Matthew has the talent to be the next star receiver at UH," Dell said. - Houston Chronicle


Fr/2026 WR Matthew GoldenHouston
News Source: Houston Chronicle
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  For the second year in a row, the Cougars must replace a high-NFL draft pick on the defensive line. With depth among the unit's strengths, the Cougars could be in position to soften the blow of losing Logan Hall, the No. 33 overall pick in the draft, at the three-technique defensive tackle. The options include Atlias Bell, whom defensive coordinator Doug Belk described as "a freaky athlete," Sedrick Williams and Latrell Bankston. Williams has been slowed the past two seasons by COVID-19 and a broken ankle. Bankston started five games at nose last season. - Houston Chronicle

rSr/2023 DE Atlias BellHouston
News Source: Houston Chronicle
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  2022 PRESEASON CHUCK BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: Gervarrius Owens, Houston, Senior S,...Owens is one of 14 safeties on the preseason watch list and one of two safeties representing a program in the state of Texas alongside UTSA's Rashad Wisdom. Houston is one of 10 schools from the state of Texas to have a player represented on the list. Houston is one of three programs in the American Athletic Conference to be represented on preseason watch list, as Owens joins Deshawn Pace (Cincinnati) and Quindell Johnson (Memphis). A leader in the secondary, Owens finished fifth on the team in tackles (52), while racking up 33 solo tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, three passes broken up and two interceptions, including a 45-yard pick-six against Tulsa (Oct. 1), a season ago. - Houston Football

rSr/2023 FS Gervarrius OwensHouston
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  University of Houston running back Alton McCaskill is doubtful to play this season after suffering a torn knee ligament in spring practice, coach Dana Holgorsen said Thursday. Speaking during the American Athletic Conference's media day, Holgorsen said McCaskill was recently cleared to begin running, but said it was premature to put any timetable on a possible return. "That conversation won't even be had for months and months," Holgorsen said. "Just being smart about it, I doubt it." McCaskill tore the ACL in his left knee during the final week of spring practice. He underwent successful surgery in April. "That's not my call," Holgorsen continued when asked about a timetable for McCaskill's return. "If I wanted that to happen and the doctors say no, then the doctors are going to win out for sure. We're interested in what's best for Alton and his future." McCaskill had 961 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns as a freshman last season to earn AAC's Rookie of the Year. - Houston Chronicle

So/2025 RB Alton McCaskillHouston
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  2022 PRESEASON RAY GUY WATCHLIST: Laine Wilkins - Houston,...Wilkins (6-2, 210) is another product of Australia's ProKick program. A native of Perth, Australia, Wilkins has played two seasons for Houston. In 2021 he had an average punt yardage of 41.8 and 13 punts of 50-plus yards ... in the first game of the season he had four 50-plus yard punts against Texas Tech (Sept. 4) ... set his season-high for longest punt with a 56 yarder against Navy (Sept. 25). In 2020, Wilkins booted the ball 38 times for 1,583 yards, coming to an average of 41.7 yards per punt … his punting average ranks 18th in Houston single-season history … did not allow a positive punt return, helping the Cougars rank second nationally and first in the American Athletic Conference with MINUS 1.25 yards per return … averaged 51.5 yards per punt at Navy (Oct. 24) including a season-best 62-yard punt … downed five punts inside the 20-yard line at No. 6 Cincinnati (Nov. 7) including a 52-yarder. - Houston Football

rSo/2025 P Laine WilkinsHouston
News Source: Houston Football
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  2022 PRESEASON OUTLAND TROPHY WATCHLIST: OT Patrick Paul, Houston,...Paul is one of six student-athletes from The American Athletic Conference on the 89-member list. The honor is the latest for Paul who has also been named Preseason All-American Athletic Conference First Team by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele as well as First Team All-Texas College by Dave Campbell's Texas Football. The Houston native started all 14 games at left tackle as a freshman a season ago en route to being named All-American Athletic Conference First Team. Offensively, the Cougars led The American in first downs offense (314) and red zone offense (.891). - Houston Football

rSo/2025 OT Patrick PaulHouston
News Source: Houston Football
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  2022 PRESEASON BUTKUS AWARD WATCHLIST: Donavan Mutin, Houston,...the three-time team captain has been among The American's defensive standouts. The second-team all-conference honoree led the Cougars with 77 tackles while adding three forced fumbles, helping lead Houston to a 12-2 record a season ago. - Houston Football

rSr/2023 ILB Donavan MutinHouston
News Source: Houston Football
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  2022 PRESEASON BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCHLIST: S Gervarrius Owens, Houston,...Owens is among 85 defensive standouts from 61 schools. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce finalists for the 2022 trophy on Nov. 16 and the winner will be unveiled Dec. 5 at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet in Charlotte, N.C. Owens was named to the All-American Athletic Conference First Team and Dave Campbell All-State First Team a season ago. The Moore, Okla., product finished tied for second on the team in interceptions with two, including a 45-yard pick six against Tulsa, and logged 52 tackles in 2021. - Houston Football

rSr/2023 FS Gervarrius OwensHouston
News Source: Houston Football
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  2022 PRESEASON JIM THORPE AWARD WATCHLIST: Gervarrius Owens, Houston, Sr.,...As a freshman (2019), safety Gervarrius Owens (6-0, 200) started 11 games and tied for second in nation with two blocked punts. In 2020 played in all eight games including making five starts at free safety ... finished fourth on the team with 28 tackles including a pair of tackles for loss alongside two pass breakups ... registered five-plus tackles in each of the first five games. Last season (2021), Owens appeared in all 14 games of the season at defensive back, started 13 games ... named to All-American Athletic Conference First Team and Dave Campbell All-State First Team ... finished fifth on the team in total tackles with 52 ... finished tied for second on the team in interceptions with two, including a 45-yard pick six against Tulsa (Oct. 1) - Houston Football

rSr/2023 FS Gervarrius OwensHouston
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  2022 PRESEASON JOHN MACKEY AWARD WATCH LIST: CHRISTIAN TRAHAN, HOUSTON,...Trahan started in 11 games as the team's every day tight end in 2021...appeared in all 14 games...recorded single-season career highs in receptions (37) and receiving yards (398)...finished second one the team in receptions (37) and fourth on the team in receiving yards (398)...recorded career-high six receptions in two games (vs. Texas Tech, East Carolina). - Houston Football

rSr/2023 TE Christian TrahanHouston
News Source: Houston Football
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  Houston's 100,000-square-foot Football Development Center will serve as the headquarters for the UH football program under head coach Dana Holgorsen. The University of Houston athletic department received an anonymous $10 million gift to help fund construction of the Football Development Center, the school announced Friday. "An eight-figure gift is rare. To have someone who believes in us, our mission, and the direction we're going while entrusting us with a significant gift is humbling," UH vice president for athletics Chris Pezman said. "I cannot express our true appreciation. It's incredibly impactful and it makes a very definitive statement about where we're going and what we're doing." The gift is part of the athletic department's Houston RISE campaign that aims to raise $150 million to upgrade and build facilities as the Cougars enter the Big 12 in July 2023. At a projected cost of $75 million, the 100,000-square-foot facility - to be located on the west side of TDECU Stadium - will serve as the headquarters for the UH football program. Construction is expected to begin this fall. - Houston Chronicle

rSr/2023 QB Clayton TuneHouston
News Source: Houston Chronicle
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  UH linebacker Donavan Mutin shares a jersey number with teammate Clayton Tune and both are also partnering with Chastang Ford on an NIL deal. Local car dealership Chastang Ford has partnered with University of Houston football players Clayton Tune and linebacker Donavan Mutin on a name, image and likeness (NIL) deal, the company announced Tuesday. The NIL deal is the first of its kind for a UH athlete. "Our family bleeds Cougar red, and we are thrilled to connect our brand with individual student athletes who share our brand values," said Patrick Chastang, the general manager and chief operating officer of Chastang Ford.

Tune, a senior quarterback from Carrollton, is entering his final season with the Cougars. Tune posted career highs in passing yards (3,550), passing touchdowns (30) and completion percentage (68.3) as the Cougars went 12-2 and reached the American Athletic Conference championship game. He has been named to the preseason watch lists for the Maxwell Award and Davey O'Brien Award. - Houston Chronicle


rSr/2023 QB Clayton TuneHouston
News Source: Houston Chronicle
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  2022 PRESEASON BILETNIKOFF AWARD WATCH LIST: Nathaniel Dell, Houston,...Dell had a breakout sophomore season, registering career highs while hauling in 90 passes for 1,329 yards and 12 touchdowns. The All-American Athletic Conference First Team honoree ranked eighth nationally in 2021 in receiving touchdowns. - Houston Football

rJr/2024 WR Nathaniel DellHouston
News Source: Houston Football
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