Football team ends preseason camp
Saturday’s scrimmage marked the end of the football team’s preseason camp. With no major injuries, the Cougars are looking forward to the season opener against Texas State on Sept. 4.
Quarterback Case Keenum said he is eager get on the playing field and is enjoying the attention surrounding the team.
“I’m really excited. It’s cool the buzz we have going on around campus. I think everybody’s excited about Cougar football,” Keenum said.
While the starters received plenty of snaps, the scrimmage was like a tryout for second and third string players. Head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff will use footage to determine who travels with the team.
“We had a lot of work with our second and third units. We’re trying to figure out who’s going to get on the bus and go with us to the games. We’ll watch tape and see, because there are a lot of things that happened away from the ball and the line of scrimmage. I thought there were some big plays and some guys stood out,” Sumlin said.
For the most part tensions have run low, but the Cougars are ready to start competing against someone besides their teammates.
“I think our guys have competed well against each other. The term we use is ‘competitive but not combative.’ We haven’t had a whole bunch of fights but we have had some hard hits and good competition,” Sumlin said.
Sumlin said it’s his job to worry about every facet of the team, but one of his concerns is the lack of players who have competed at UH for the entirety of their college career.
“Even though we have 15 seniors, it’s really split down the middle with the number of seniors who have been here four or five years. Seven of the guys have been, and the other guys are first or second year junior college players. We don’t have a tremendous amount of senior leadership,” Sumlin said.
One of the inevitabilities of training camp is the competition for a starting spot. True freshman Richi Leone challenged Jordan Mannisto for the starting punting position and appears to have won the battle.
“He’s getting better every week. It‘s just a consistency matter with him. He’s extremely talented and he’s going to be the guy there,” Sumlin said.
After the scrimmage’s conclusion, Sumlin also said that the offense captains will be Keenum and wide receiver James Clevland. Defensively, the captains will be linebackers Marcus McGraw and Matt Nicholson. The captains were chosen by their teammates.