Although many are uneasy about transition from former UH legendary quarterback Case Keenum to this year’s starter, sophomore David Piland, the Cougars do not share that concern.
“The last time people saw (Piland) play in a college football game was November 2010,” head coach Tony Levine said. “So with his growth mentally, physically, as a leader, I can’t wait to see him play on Saturday night. I have 100 percent confidence in him.”
Piland spent last season as a redshirt while taking snaps with the first team and being bred to become the Cougars starter heading into 2012.
Piland joins a long line of quarterbacks at UH who have followed in the footsteps of record setters before them.
Five years ago, Keenum stepped on the field as a redshirt freshman and many wondered how the team would replace Kevin Kolb, a quarterback who threw nearly 13,000 yards in his career.
Redshirt sophomore tackle Rowdy Harper believes Piland will have the same productivity as his predecessors.
“You love to block for the great ones and that’s what we think he will be,” Harper said. “It’s not much of a change to us at all. He’s a great signal caller.”
Piland maintains a high level of competitiveness and expectations that stem from his high school days at Southlake Carroll — a school where replacing an accomplished quarterback is almost second nature.
Before following Keenum, Piland led the same huddle that college quarterbacks like Chase Daniel and national champion Greg McElroy commanded as a Carroll High School Dragon.
“Just seeing the guys that were great before you — you want to be as great as they are,” Piland said. “They made great plays and played well. They expect the same of you.”
After a year in waiting, Piland will take the reigns of the offense understanding what lies in front of him.
“I’m really excited to go into it, knowing that it is my team,” Piland said. “I’m excited to humbly go into it and know that I’m in control, I’ve got the team and everyone knows that you’re the guy.”