Spring practice will be here before we know it, and the regular season will be right behind it. Houston’s hoping their 2019 season ends better than 2018 did. A new coaching staff sparks confidence in a fan base that simply hoped for better the last couple years. Leading up to spring practices, we begin a position preview series for your Houston Cougars. Up first, the all important quarterback position. It shouldn’t be a surprise who starts, but let’s take a look at who else could see the field.
Note: all players are taken from the 2019 roster.
POSITIONS: RB, WR/TE, OL, DL, LB, DB, S/T
219-345 (63.5%), 2,962 yards, 36 touchdowns - 6 interceptions
111 rushes, 674 yards (6.1 ypc), 14 touchdowns
59-117 (50.4%), 795 yards, 8 touchdown - 2 interceptions
41 rushes, 53 yards (1.3 ypc), 1 touchdown
D’Eriq King, Senior
You never plan to lose a player like D’Eriq King, but the Cougars lost their star last year. King tore his meniscus in the game against Tulane, and the offense never looked the same. Fast forward to now, and it’s unclear what his status is going into spring practice. A meniscus isn’t a major injury to come back from, but they can sometimes be tricky. Regardless of his involvement in spring practice, King is the starter. There shouldn’t be any debate about that. His unique combination of accurate passing and athleticism makes him one of the best quarterbacks int he country. After being robbed of the AAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2018, King looks to produce an even better season this year. Expect his passing to improve more under Dana Holgorsen.
Clayton Tune, Sophomore
No one expected Tune to play much last year, but Major Applewhite decided to burn the freshman’s redshirt so that Tennessee transfer Quinten Dormady could keep his and transfer at the end of the year. It wasn’t easy for Tune, but he did what he could given the situation. Tune showed fans what he’s capable of doing, but his inexperience came out as well. He possesses a decent arm that allows him to make throws into coverage as well as accurate deep passes. One aspect of his game that gets overlooked is his athleticism. Tune may not be the runner that King is, but his pocket awareness and quickness allow him to pick up first downs when protection breaks down. Being thrust into the starting spot helped his development, and will be the reason he wins the backup spot.
Logan Holgorsen, Freshman
Simply because of his name, Logan Holgorsen sparked intrigue when he decided to play for Houston. A three start recruit, Holgorsen has a lot of similar traits to Tune. So expect him to compete with Tune for the backup job. The freshman plays with a confidence that he most likely gets from dad, and that shows on tape. You’d have to believe that father and son have talked about schemes for a while now, so it wouldn’t be a surprise for Holgorsen to have a leg up on the rest of the quarterbacks coming into spring ball.
Others listed on roster: Ike Ogbogu, Sophomore;Steadman Lanigan, Senior
We should expect King to take it easy in practices, and no one will even go near him if he participates. It’s his job, regardless of how healthy he is in March. The competition for the backup spot is what sparks the most intrigue. Tune and Holgorsen are most likely the two we should expect to compete for that spot, and they should receive valuable reps with King out. Both fit well into Dana Holgorsen’s offense, and there shouldn’t be as much of a drop off after King this year.