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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Football

Recruiting Houston prospects priority for Herman


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Head Coach Tom Herman has a proven track record of great recruiting while at Ohio State University, so reaping the rewards of the talent base in Houston should pay large dividends on the field. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

There is more to building a successful college football program than putting together a good game plan on Saturdays.

The business of recruiting top-flight talent is what separates the best-of-the-best college programs from the rest. But with so many schools flirting with recruits, the competition is fierce.

Many elements go into the recruiting process, and first-time head coach Tom Herman knows just how important it will be to the future of the football program.

In his short time as a Cougar, he has put together a high-profile staff to not only produce on the field, but also work to establish roots at the high school level.

“We’ve got a great staff, with really strong relationships with the high school coaches,” Herman said. “When a young man can walk up to his high school coach and say ‘What do you know about Coach Herman? Coach Schneider? Coach Pope? Coach Giles?’ and (they) can give him a legitimate, honest answer…that goes a long way.”

Herman is no stranger to the recruiting process.

During his tenure at Ohio State, Herman improved recruiting classes significantly, adding more three, four and five-star recruits than before.

In order to push the program to the next level, however, tapping into the highly-talented Houston market will be critical.

A turnaround already seems to be underway, as two top-level local recruits have committed to the 2016 class.

Two defensive tackles, Edward Oliver, a five-star recruit from Westfield H.S., and Jordan Elliot, a four-star from Westside H.S., both chose Houston over many other offers from schools like the University of Alabama, Louisiana State University and the University of Notre Dame.

Despite UH’s prime location, other universities have been snatching up the top-tier talent from the Houston area.

Over the past five years, the University of Texas and Texas A&M University alone have signed a combined 37 four and five-star high school recruits from Houston and the surrounding areas.

During that same span, UH signed zero. That fact is not lost on Herman, as he has made local recruiting a top priority.

“We play in the best high school football-playing city in the country,” Herman said. “If just a fraction of the really good to great players stay home and decide to continue their education here with us, then we are going to be pretty good.”

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