Most Important Houston Quotes from Big 12 Media Days

Courtesy of UH Athletics.

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LAS VEGAS -- Wille Fritz may be entering his first season as a Power Four head coach, but Houston will be the sixth program he's attempting to rebuild. Most recently, he brought Tulane from irrelevancy to back-to-back American Athletic Conference Championship games, including a New Year's Six bowl win. 

Fritz has favored a slow build. Tulane only had two winning seasons in his first six years. He knows the Big 12 requires a quicker timeline.

"We don't have three years to build culture," Fritz said at the Big 12 Media Days on Wednesday. 

Here are the most important quotes from Las Vegas that indicate how soon to expect a revival. 

The New Houston

You've heard of the Golden Rule: Treat others how you want to be treated. Fritz lives his life by the platinum rule instead.

“I’m going to treat you like how you show me I should treat you," Fritz told BYUtv Sports Nation. "You act like a good guy, I’m going to think you’re a good guy. You act like a turd, I’m going to think you’re a turd.”

Fritz's frenetic practice pace has energized the entire team.

“He has his bullhorn and his little microphone that’s connected to the speakers all through practice," quarterback Donovan Smith told Pawd Slamma Jamma. "You’ll just hear him, ‘Run, run, run!’"

Smith also said Fritz tries to build the players into what he describes as, "academic weapons." The program raised it's team GPA by 15 percent year-over-year this spring. 

“Some days, Coach Fritz is going to meet you at your class and you’ll be like, ‘Woah!’" right guard Tank Jenkins told Pawd Slamma Jamma. "We take everything with school seriously. Everybody wants to have straight A’s.”

Even after injury, Donovan Smith is QB1

Smith tore his labrum in Week 9 of last year and had surgery in January, which sidelined him for the spring period. Houston brought in Louisiana transfer Zeon Chriss, who has similar dual-threat ability to Smith. But Fritz raved about Smith's attitude in the spring and said he could be one of the top quarterbacks in the Big 12.

“He sat back there with me (during spring practice), (with the) the sideline to helmet communication," Fritz told the ESPN production desk. "He was listening to the call, I was reading the script, I had him go through everything that he was looking at based on the coverage and progression.”

Smith told reporters he's been cleared for two months and was throwing 65-yard passes at the Manning Passing Academy.

Roster Updates

Media days are normally sunshine and roses, but Fritz did have a dose of cold reality. Corey Platt Jr., a projected starter after transferring from Tulane, will miss the season after a post-spring practice Achilles injury. 

Fritz also said his depth chart will be in flux up until Week 3 of the season. He'll rotate through 20 players on both offense and defense. Fritz, a defensive backs coach by trade, said the program does not tackle much during preseason camp, so it'll take live action to evaluate the players. Right guard Tank Jenkins is the only solidified starter on the offensive line.

Fritz had high praise for former Austin LBJ star Latrell McCutchin Sr. He said the former Oklahoma and USC defensive back has NFL potential and will also play a role on special teams for the Cougars.

"I think he's a top-flight corner," Fritz told the ESPN production desk. "I've coached the secondary a lot in my career, and he's one of the better corners I've been around."


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