The Houston Cougars were looking forward to the return of a significant piece of their offense, but that is no longer the case.
After missing the entire 2022 season due to an ACL tear suffered in spring practice last April, running back Alton McCaskill announced entry into the transfer portal Wednesday morning.
The extent of McCaskill’s college career was a spectacular true freshman season, where he rapidly emerged from a reserve to the top of the depth chart. McCaskill led all FBS true freshmen FBS with 16 rushing touchdowns, complemented with 961 yards in a standout campaign. He was also utilized quite frequently as a receiver on checkdown screens with 21 receptions, 113 yards, and two touchdowns in his only collegiate season to date.
McCaskill earned Second Team All-AAC honors and was named the AAC Rookie of the Year after posting such statistics in 2021. However, he never earned an opportunity to build on those numbers as a true sophomore. A torn ACL in spring practice last April sidelined McCaskill for the entirety of 2022, depriving Houston of one of its offensive centerpieces.
Houston concluded spring practice on Friday, April 7 after canceling its spring game due to inclement weather. McCaskill was a limited non-contact participant in these practices. He now seeks to continue his college career elsewhere where he retains three years of eligibility. Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported McCaskill is connected to Deion Sanders’ program at Colorado, which witnessed a mass exodus of transfers following its spring game on Saturday, April 22.
Moving on from McCaskill, the Cougars still exhibit experience within their running back depth chart. They lose graduating senior Ta’Zhawn Henry, who was a steady contributor in 2022, but they retain their top two rushing yards leaders from the running back position — both wielding sophomore classification.
Stacy Sneed produced 501 yards on 6.6 per carry while serving as the feature back during late October and early November. Brandon Campbell, who transferred from USC, added 435 rushing yards on 90 attempts as Houston’s most-utilized running back in 2022. Both Sneed and Campbell were common options in the passing attack, combining for 37 receptions last fall.
The Cougars officially transition to the Big 12 on July 1, and they’re currently set to open the new era with Sneed and Campbell manning the backfield, as McCaskill tests the waters of the transfer portal.