We move on to the most experienced group on the Houston Cougars roster. Dana Holgorsen had one of the best receiving groups in the country, and inherits another one (DJ Khaled voice). Houston’s receivers should scare the rest of the AAC, and the offense will fire on all cylinders because of it.
POSITIONS: QB, RB, OL, DL, LB, DB, S/T
75 catches, 1,019 yards (13.6 yards per catch), 9 touchdowns
50 catches, 691 yards (17.3 ypc), 10 touchdowns
35 catches, 539 yards (15.4 ypc), 5 touchdowns
30 catches, 285 yards (9.5 ypc), 4 touchdowns
19 catches, 285 yards (15.0 ypc), 2 touchdowns
11 catches, 99 yards (9.0 ypc), 2 touchdowns
3 catches, 61 yards (20.3 ypc)
3 catches, 59 yards (19.7 ypc)
2 catches, 50 yards (25.0 ypc), 1 touchdown
3 catches, 25 yards (8.3 ypc)
2 catches, 17 yards (8.5 ypc)
1 catch, 13 yards
2 catches, 4 yards (2.0 ypc), 2 touchdowns
Wide Receiver Player Previews
Bryson Smith, Sophomore
Mr. Versatile. Smith’s skills allow coaches to use him in a multitude of ways. Smith came to Houston as a quarterback, but moved to receiver with the quarterback position already crowded. His football I.Q. is evident every game by how he can breakdown coverages and find holes in the defense. Houston used him at quarterback a few times last year as well, giving the defense a different look with D’Eriq King out wide. He possesses a good burst that helps him get off the line and beat his defender. Smith also doubles as the Cougars punt returner.
Keith Corbin, Senior
Corbin’s catch radius is arguably the best on the team, and his athleticism jumps off the screen. There isn’t a pass that he can’t reach, and has the hands to get any ball thrown his way. Defenders find it difficult to get hands on him as his release is solid getting off the line. There’s been plenty of talk about his drops last year, but I don’t see that as an issue. Corbin worked his butt off last offseason to get into the starting rotation, and it paid off. Expect him to work just as hard this offseason, and raise your expectations for him in 2019.
Marquez Stevenson, Junior
Lightning in a bottle. Stevenson runs and catches the football, and I am excited to see how Holgorsen uses him. Stevenson’s speed keeps defenders on their toes, and his quickness allows him to get a good release at the snap. While he may not be the biggest player, he’s tough to take down. Big hits won’t take him down due to his great balance, and his toughness helps him win battles he doesn’t have any business winning. Another reliable target, and he’s also the top kick returner for the Cougars.
Courtney Lark, Senior
Arguably the most consistent receiver on the team. If you watched West Virginia last year, you saw bigger receivers like David Sills V and Gary Jennings dominate. Lark and Corbin are the most like those two, which could be an indication of what is to come in 2019. Holgorsen’s got another great deep threat this year in Lark who has solid hands. Lark’s a solid route runner, which allows him to create separation downfield. In his final year, Courtney Lark could have his best season yet. He just needs to stay healthy.
Jeremy Singleton, Sophomore
Despite having just 19 catches, Singleton proved to be a reliable target for D’Eriq King. He’s got strong hands to make any catch, and has the quickness to add yards after the catch. Singleton gives Houston another receiver with good size to find downfield.
Terry Mark, Senior
It’s tough for Mark to be the sixth best receiver, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a threat. Mark’s quickness is noticeable when he gets the ball in his hands. He knows how to break tackles, and is even bigger than Singleton.
Other potential contributors: Julon Williams, Redshirt Freshman; Ja’Kori Morgan, Redshirt Freshman; Henry Thomas, Redshirt Freshman; Tre’Von Bradley, Sophomore; Peyton Sawyer, Redshirt Freshman
Others listed on roster: Timon Nolan, Senior; Bryce Washington, Junior; Adrian Collins, Sophomore; Andrew Segovia, Senior; Cole McGowan, Junior
Recruiting class additions: Ke’Andre Street
Tight End Player Previews
Spencer Wells, Redshirt Freshman
With Romello Brooker graduating, Wells gives Holgorsen a big target at tight end, similar to his predecessor.
Christian Trahan, Sophomore
Houston’s top returning tight end in terms of receiving. Those two catches won’t give him a leg up on the competition, but having game experience will.
Shane Creamer, Sophomore
Creamer has already been putting in work in the weight room with new strength and conditioning coach Darl Bauer. If that work translates into a physical football player, he could see playing time.
Parker Eichenberger, Sophomore
Eichenberger was the first tight end inserted into games when Brooker was out. He flashed his ability to catch the football briefly, but not enough to gauge where he will be this year. If he can improve his physicality, the job is his.
Houston doesn’t have to worry about the wide receiver position. Their top six receivers return, so it’s just a matter at how the new coaching staff evaluates them. After watching West Virginia last year, I don’t see why much would change. The tight end competition is what will draw most of the attention as the race is wide open. Either way, this is an explosive an experienced group that will scare AAC defenses in 2019.