*Sean Bailey DB 5-11, 175 Fort Worth Dunbar
Bailey was one of the state's best cover corners last year. Syracuse and others pursued him throughout the recruiting season, but UH came in late and won out. The coaches would like to see him gain 20 pounds of muscle and become a shut-down corner. With Bailey, Ivory Williams, and Kenneth Fontenette along with returnees such as Ricky Wilson, Willie Gaston, and Xavier Lane, the Cougars should be in great shape at cornerback for the next few years.
*Michael Bloesch OL 6-2, 270 Klein Collins
The Houston area has so many great players that some are inevitably overlooked for a variety of reasons. A case in point is Mike Bloesch. Because he's an inch or two under that magical 6-4 bar, schools such as OU, UT, and LSU passed him over. But Coach Briles realized what a diamond in the rough Bloesch was. A leader (twice voted team captain at Collins HS) and an outstanding student, Bloesch is just the kind of player that can help UH return to glory.
*Brian Boehm TE 6-5, 220 Victoria Memorial
We've talked about Coach Briles‚ connections to high school coaches and how that would help recruiting. Here's a great example. Boehm was a sleeper at Victoria at Memorial because he played in an offense predicated on the running game, so college coaches didn't get to see his speed or his soft hands. He could turn out to be one of the top recruits of this class. Boehm is 6-5 bony kid, who shouldn't have any trouble putting on 30 pounds; in fact, he has the frame to put on even more, so there's a chance he could end up on the offensive line, but, for now, anyway, the Cougars need him at tight end, where he could develop into both a devastating blocker and a sure-handed receiver. Picture a tight end with the size and blocking skills of Jon Pritchett combined with the hands and receiving skills of Scott Regimbauld, and you'll see the kind of potential Brian Boehm has.
*Victor Crosby DL 6-4, 280 Katy Cinco Ranch
Crosby was the best defensive lineman in a tough Houston-area district. He could provide immediate depth in the defensive line. He has the size and quickness to get on the field within two years. Look for him to bulk up to over 300 and plug the middle for the Coogs.
*Jake Ebner OL 6-1, 270 Friendswood
Jake is the son of former UH safety Tommy Ebner, a starter on the 1979 team that went 11-1 and defeated Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl. Jake was recognized as one of the top student-athletes in the Houston area. He's a true center with excellent strength and a great work ethic, very much in the mold of Mike Bloesch in that he is impressive both on and off the field.
*Kenneth Fontenette DB 6-0, 165 Pflugerville Connally
It would be interesting to watch Fontenette and Ivory Williams race when they arrive on campus, not so much to see who would win but rather to try to figure out which blur was which! Fontenette, a Lone Star Recruiting Top 100 selection, has tremendous speed, and should be up to 200 within a couple of years. He's a project, but has all the tools to become an outstanding cornerback. He may remind UH fans of another Cougar DB from Pflugerville, Stanford Routte.
*Mark Hafner TE 6-3, 200 Waller
Hafner is a great athlete, one of the best in a class filled with good ones. He's a baseball player with good speed and dexterity. Like the other tight end recruit, Brian Boehm, Hafner has a large frame and could add 40 or more pounds over his career. He could also switch to wide receiver or possibly even the defense. He'll redshirt so he can grow and get familiarized with the system, but a few years down the road, Mark Hafner could be something special.
*Phillip Hunt DL 6-3, 250 Forth Worth Dunbar
Even though he was considered one of the top defensive linemen in the Metroplex, Hunt was still somewhat overlooked. I think he may have been one of the best in the state. He's rangy and can run. I see him cracking the two-deep chart within a couple of years. Hunt may finally give the Cougars a defensive end as big as the guys blocking him.
*D.J. Johnson DL 6-3, 295 Aldine/Garden City CC
Johnson was selected as a first-team NJCAA All-American and voted the top defensive lineman in the Jayhawk Conference, considered by some the top juco league in the country. The coaches have him pegged as either a second teamer or possibly even a starter. He brings to the defensive line something it's badly missed the past few years size. His ability to shut down the middle will be a big boost to the defense.
*Mark Kimmey OL 6-5, 274 Van Vleck
Arguably the steal of the class, Kimmey is an offensive lineman with tremendous potential who was somewhat overlooked because he played for a small 2-A school. Coach Spradlin is very high on him. Kimmey could be 6-6, 320 after a year or two in the weight room. He has good feet and quickness, so he'll play tackle.
*Cody Lubojasky LB 6-3, 200 Fort Bend Kempner
"Lubo" was one of top linebacker prospects in Houston area. He has a bloodhound-like nose for the ball to go with great determination, maybe the two most important qualities a great linebacker can have. The coaches think that, given his frame, he could eventually wind up at defensive end. He's another one of the many great students in this class.
*Ernest Miller DB 6-2, 190 Taylor
Miller was Mr. Do-It-All for Taylor High School, where he led his team to 8 victories. He brings an unusual combination of size and speed. Miller played basketball and ran track, so guess what? He‚s a great athlete! He's slated to play safety for the Cougars.
*Brendan Pahulu LB 6-3, 215 Euless Trinity
Pahulu could turn out to be the star of the class. An all-state linebacker at Euless Trinity, he was set to go to Arizona until John Mackovic was fired. Texas A&M made a late run at him, but he stuck with his commitment to the Cougars. He has it all: size, speed, and quickness. He'll be hard to keep out of the lineup for long.
*Chris Pilot LB 6-1, 215 Lufkin
If Chris Pilot were 6-4, Miami and Florida State would have been knocking down his door. But he‚s 6-1 and sort of a "tweener." In other words, he's hard to peg as a down lineman or a linebacker. Those who think he's too small to play defensive end should remember that Joe Clay arrived at UH at almost exactly the same size that Chris Pilot will. But whether he‚s a linebacker or a rush end, he'll definitely play in the front seven, and that's where UH most needs help. And getting a Cougar paw in Lufkin High School sure won't hurt.
*Cody Pree DL 6-2, 280 Hooks
Mark my words! Cody Pree will be a great defensive lineman for the University of Houston. Pree was highly sought by Baylor and other in-state programs. He can absolutely shut down an opponent‚s running game. In another two or three years, Pree and Marquay Love could be the closest thing UH has had to great bookend defensive linemen since the days of Mitchell and Taylor or Turner and Fletcher.
*Rodney Rideau LB 6-2, 210 Port Arthur Memorial
Rideau was the anchor for one of the state‚s best defenses. He has good speed, flows to the ball well, and brings a punch when he gets there. He also received attention from LSU, among others. He needs to gain some weight, but once he does he could be a fixture at middle linebacker.
*SirVincent Rogers OL 6-3, 270 Jasper
After Ivory Williams, Rogers was probably the Coogs‚ most well-known high school recruit. He chose UH over solid offers from TCU, Baylor, and others. He's versatile and could play either guard or tackle, but I'm guessing the coaches would like to station him at guard so that he could blow open some holes in the middle. He'll be waiting in the wings when Roy Swan and David Douglas move on in a couple of years.
*Curtis Shaw WR 6-1, 170 Beaumont Ozen
Shaw had committed to Baylor, but fortunately for the Cougars, he switched his commitment to UH after his visit here. He's versatile and could end up at wide receiver or at defensive back. He has good speed and runs precise routes. Shaw looks like Jack Tatum when he's on the defensive side of the ball. He apparently loves to hit.
*Harold Taylor RB 6-0, 210 Houston Smiley
Taylor signed with UH last year, got his academics in order, and resigned this February. He's fast and very athletic, and the coaches love his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Taylor has big dreams for his career at UH, and I wouldn't bet against him achieving them.
*Sylvester Walker WR 6-2, 185 Cedar Hill
Another one of those great athletes, Walker has been a star at Cedar Hill since his sophomore year when he was the team's starting tailback. Because of his great speed, his high school coaches decided to move him to wide receiver for his junior year. Walker is a little rough around the edges, but he has the potential to be an outstanding outside receiver and deep threat for UH. Iowa and Texas A&M also recruited him.
*Ivory Williams 5-10, 175 Beaumont Central
Last but definitely not least is Ivory Williams, the bluest of the Cougars‚ bluechips. Williams was rated the #4 inside receiver in the nation by one service, and he was very likely the fastest high school football player in the state last year. He's listed as a wide receiver, and he could cause huge problems for opposing defensive coordinators at that position, but he may end up at cornerback. He has the ability to completely shut down receivers, and the Coogs could use someone like that! He will be star wherever the coaches put him.