Houston's Numbers are down. Way Down
As Houston heads into their spring game on Saturday they face a real numbers dilemma. The Cougars currently have 44 players available for Saturday thanks to injuries, early departures and graduation. This offseason four Cougars retired due to concussion related symptoms and several players left the program otherwise. In the past two years 25 players have left Houston due to various reasons including academic issues, discipline issues or fit.
One of the bigger issues this spring has been injuries with key cogs like Will Noble, D'Eriq King, Linell Bonner, and Kyle Postma among those missing from the practice field.
All that adds up to a roster that is 41 players below the 85 scholarship limit, meaning the Cougars depth, at least for the spring, is non-existent. Applewhite expects to bring in a graduate transfer or two, plus he'll have a full complement of first year players arriving in the summer. Still, Houston could be a couple of recruiting cycles away from true roster depth.
UTSA's football Fiesta Slated for Saturday
UTSA will play its annual Football Fiesta Spring Game on Saturday at Dub Ferris Stadium.
Frank Wilson's second Roadrunner team must deal with raised expectations heading into 2017. According to Bill Connelly, the Roadrunners should be favored in nine of their twelve games which would put them into contention for the CUSA West title.
A few keys to look for:
- The continued development of Dalton Sturm is critical, he was up and down in 2016. Can he make a jump forward in year two of Frank Scelfo's offense?
- The Roadrunners must replace two starting safeties in Michael Egwuagu and Jordan Moore. Can the defense replace that production and limit big plays this fall?
- UTSA's pass catchers struggled catching passes in 2016. UTSA needs consistency from their skill guys when targeted. Can what was considered a strength of the team in 2016 live up to the hype in 2017?
- UTSA has the chance to develop some real depth heading into the fall, a key to any CUSA title dreams. Has Wilson's recruiting effort paid off in tangible contributors?
Former OU Quarterback's Son Commits to Texas
ESPN Top 300 Junior Casey Thompson has committed to Texas. That's not typically big news, except that Casey Thompson is the son of former OU quarterback Charles Thompson from the Barry Switzer era.
The younger Thompson has thrown for more than 6,500 yards and rushed for more than 2,000 yards with 109 career touchdowns going into his senior year. He's set to graduate early and enroll next January.
Charles Thompson started at quarterback for the Sooners in 1987 and '88. He was arrested and subsequently convicted during his time at Oklahoma for conspiracy to distribute cocaine after selling to an undercover agent. Thompson spent two years in Federal Prison and attempted to resume his career at Central State in Ohio after his release. Since prison he's apparently turned his life around and certainly seems to have helped guide his very talented son.
American Sports Network Merger
CUSA and other non Power 5 conferences received some good news yesterday with the announced merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Silver Chalice and the digital brand 120 Sports. The three have come together to improve and relaunch American Sports Network. In addition to airing live college and pro sports, the network will offer an array of programming including post-game highlights, sports news, original long-form programming and archived games.
The relaunch is a huge step for several G-5 conferences who partnered with ASN. The network was left for dead earlier this winter when it appeared to be going out of business. Now with the relaunch the network and some improvements in format and technology, it should be a viable tool to help with exposure for CUSA programs.