RECRUITING: What Houston needs in the 2018 class
College Football Insider/Editor David Ubben takes a look at the needs of the 12 Texas FBS teams ahead of national signing day.
Next up: Houston.
Biggest recruiting need(s): Pass catchers and linebackers
Linell Bonner and Steven Dunbar were huge pieces of Houston’s program renaissance under Tom Herman, but they’re not the only skill position players saying goodbye after 2017. Four receivers on the Cougars’ two-deep won’t be coming back next year, as well as starting tight end Alex Leslie.
New offensive coordinator Kendal Briles apparently no longer has an uncertain quarterback position with D’Eriq King returning and Kyle Allen heading to the NFL Draft, but King will be without the Coogs’ top two targets from 2017. In this offense, depth at receiver is pivotal.
On the other side of the ball, the Cougars will be losing three starting linebackers and a reserve, including the team’s two leading tacklers, D’Juan Hines and Matthew Adams, who combined for 198 stops in 2017. Life is good playing behind Ed Oliver, and that should help the transition.
How it’s being addressed:
Nine of Major Applewhite’s 21 early signees are either linebackers or pass catchers, and depending on what happens when they get to campus, players like QB/ATH Julon Williams or defensive end Willie Smith could theoretically add more to the group. John Tyler’s Dekalen Goodson and Klein Collins’ Donavan Mutin are both linebackers and two of Houston’s five highest-rated signees, alongside receiver Ja’Kori Morgan from Clear Lake in Houston. They’ll have opportunities to contribute soon, considering the Cougars’ losses from last year’s roster.
Applewhite also kept receivers Peyton Sawyer and Henry Thomas and tight end Spencer Wells from leaving town and kept all three in the Houston area. That’s the luxury of being the head coach at Houston. Sometimes, players like Oliver play down the street from your office. And much of the time, you can fill out your recruiting class without even leaving the area code.
More recruiting needs: