Deontay Greenberry

Tom Herman lands Houston’s highest-rated recruit in over a decade, possibly ever

8 Comments

Houston’s new head coach has yet to coach a game, but he’s already making things happen. As best we can tell right now, new Houston head coach Tom Herman has broken down a wall that Houston has yet to climb since as far back as 2002.

Class of 2016 defensive tackle Ed Oliver, rated four stars and the seventh-best defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals, has given Herman and Houston his verbal commitment. This, of course, is a long way from becoming officially official with National Signing Day not until next February. It is, however, a sign that Herman is already having an impact on the recruiting trail at his new gig. While Oliver receives four out of five stars from Rivals, other recruiting services are a tad higher on him (he has a five-star composite ranking according to 247 Sports).

As it stands now, Oliver is choosing Houston over offers from programs like Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA and more.

Per Rivals, Wide receiver Deontay Greenberry was Houston’s most recent four-star recruit in the Class of 2012. Since 2002, Houston has signed a total of five four-star players.

Go to work, Herman.

Helmet sticker to The Student Section.

Nearly 30 percent of early entries weren’t selected in NFL draft

17 Comments

Not surprisingly, some of the players who left eligibility on the table for an early shot at the pros were left without a chair when the draft music stopped Saturday.

By the deadline in mid-January, a total of 84 players with eligibility remaining filled out their paperwork to make themselves available for the 2015 NFL draft.  As noted by Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com, 24 of those 84 players went undrafted as the seven-round event concluded yesterday evening.

While that’s 28.6 percent, it’s actually a better rate than a year ago.  In 2014, 36.7 percent (36 of 98) of the early entrants went undrafted.  That total of 98 last year was a record number of draft-eligible players who left with eligibility remaining, which prompted the NFL to change its protocol in an attempt to roll back the number of players leaving early.

Getting back to this year, 16 of the 24 who weren’t selected came from Power Five football programs.  TCU was the only school with two early entrants who weren’t picked (running back B.J. Catalon, safety Chris Hackett), while two of the players came from non-FCS levels.

It should be noted that most if not all of the players in this group will sign as an undrafted free agent.

Below is the complete list of those who went undrafted.

SS Durell Eskridge, Syracuse
CB Jacoby Glenn, UCF
FS Chris Hackett, TCU
WR DaVaris Daniels, Notre Dame
RB Trey Williams, Texas A&M
DE Deion Barnes, Penn State
TE Jean Sifrin, Massachusetts
DT David Irving, Iowa State
WR Deontay Greenberry, Houston
DT Ellis McCarthy, UCLA
RB B.J. Catalon, TCU
WR Chris Harper, California
LB Max Flores, Northern Colorado
RB Dee Hart, Colorado State
RB Braylon Heard, Kentucky
WR George Farmer, USC
WR Nigel King, Kansas
OT Patrick Miller, Auburn
WR Zach D’Orazio, Akron
WR Tacoi Sumler, Appalachian State
OG Tyler Moore, Florida
WR Jaquel Pitts, Trinity International
LS Easton Wahlstrom, Arizona State
OLB Darien Rankin, North Carolina

Following memorable comeback, Houston WR Greenberry reportedly entering 2015 NFL Draft

1 Comment

Houston wide receiver Deontay Greenberry could be leaving on quite the high note. Greenberry will reportedly enter the 2015 NFL Draft, passing on his final year of eligibility at Houston.

Greenberry, a junior from Fresno, California, had a bit of a down 2014 season as a result of some erratic and inconsistent quarterback play this season, but he caught the game-winning touchdown pass in Houston’s furious rally against Pittsburgh in the Armed Forces Bowl and he led the Cougars in receiving in the bowl win. Greenberry entering the 2015 draft may come as a slight surprise given his numbers this season, but the potential was seen with a 1,202-yard season with 11 touchdowns in 2014.

Following the Armed Forces Bowl The Houston Chronicle reported Greenberry had not yet made a decision on his future. Greenberry had 841 yards and six touchdowns in the 2014 season.

Houston stuns Pitt with 29-point fourth quarter

7 Comments

For the better part of 54 minutes of game time, this was my thought.  And my original lede:

That’s three hours of my life I’ll never get back.  Wait, did I just type that out loud?

Then the last six minutes of the game happened… and it totally redeemed itself.

In a game that at one point some could’ve use as the argument for there being too many bowl games, but will instead be viewed as the little brother of yesterday’s Michigan State-Baylor classic, Houston (7-6) roared back from a significant fourth-quarter deficit to rip a 35-34 win away from Pittsburgh in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.

The thing for Pitt, playing under an interim head coach, is that Houston, also with an interim coach, trailed 31-6 with just under 14 minutes remaining in the game.  And then, eight minutes later, all hell broke loose.

The Cougars, who looked as dead as the Spartans did in yesterday’s Cotton Bowl, mounted a furious comeback after going down 34-13 with just over six minutes remaining in the fourth on a Pitt field goal.  An eight-yard Greg Ward touchdown pass with 3:41 remaining cut the lead to 34-20.  After a successful onsides kick, another Ward touchdown pass, this one from 29 yards out, cut the lead to 34-27.

Unbelievably, a second consecutive onsides kick was successful, with another Ward touchdown pass subsequently pulling the Cougars to within one at 34-33 with :59 remaining.  Instead of going for the tie, UH went for two… and converted, with Ward hitting Deontay Greenberry to give themselves a 35-34 lead.

Pitt’s final, last-gasp drive stalled at the 50-yard line, handing UH the improbable victory.

After starting off with just 37 first-half passing yards, Ward finished the game 272 yards and the three touchdowns.  He had 92 yards rushing as well, and was named as the Player of the Game.

For the game, the Cougars had 487 yards of offense; incredibly, 294 of those yards came in that wild fourth quarter.

Quarterback Chad Voytik passed for 214 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort, and added 40 yards rushing for good measure.  James Conner, the nation’s fifth-leading rusher, ended the game with 90 yards on the ground after being bottled up the first half.

With Pitt’s loss, the ACC dropped to 4-7 this postseason.  That will be their final record as that conference’s bowl season is complete.  It’s also the second-worst Power Five mark, ahead of only the Big 12’s 1-4.

The AAC, meanwhile, evened out its mark at 2-2.  East Carolina will face Florida in the Birmingham Bowl Saturday, the conference’s lone remaining opportunity to improve on that mark.

Defenses come to play as UCF leads Houston 7-6 at halftime

Leave a comment

Prior to Thursday’s meeting, the Houston Cougars and UCF Knights combined to average 56.5 points per game. Of course, a defensive skirmish ensued during the first half.

The Knights lead 7-6 after two quarters of play

In today’s college football landscape, it’s odd not seeing two teams easily march up and down the field on offense. Yet, neither team managed to reach 150 yards of total offense in the first half. Houston actually gained more yards with 143, but UCF was up to the task in the red-zone.

The key moment came when the Cougars drove the ball to UCF’s one-foot line. On 4th-and-goal, Cougars quarterback John O’Korn attempted a back-shoulder fade to wide receiver Deontay Greenberry. The pass fell incomplete, and UCF took over on downs.

Even the game’s lone touchdown was set up by UCF’s defense. Knights safety Clayton Geathers read O’Korn’s eyes, drove on an underneath route to cut off the intended pass and ended up with an interception. With the ball at Houston’s 25-yard line, the Knights were in business.

Five plays later, UCF quarterback Justin Holman found receiver Jackie Williams open in the end-zone. Ironically, the Cougars had a safety covering over the top and a linebacker underneath the slant route, yet neither defender was able to identify the football to make a play before Williams ensnared the pass.

Neither quarterback proved to be efficient. Both teams should turn to their running games in the second half to finally get on track. The Knights should also receive a boost from wide receiver Rannell Hall, who missed the first half after a unnecessary roughness penalty last weekend. But UCF is expected to be without a reliable target in J.J. Worton, who left the game in the second quarter due to a rib injury.

Both these defenses have been stingy through two quarters, but both offenses are bound to play better in the second half after poor starts to the game.