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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Depth at corner back position promising for Cougars

In today’s passing-oriented game with the spread offenses prevalent among the football landscape, the corner back position has never been more important to the success of a team.

The Cougars, heading into 2015, appear to be set with their secondary being a real strength of the defense.

While the safeties garner much of the attention, the Houston corners are a very talented group in their own right.

Senior William Jackson III (6’1”, 185)-  Jackson is widely considered to be the lock-down corner for the Cougars and had a strong showing last season, playing in all 13 games and starting 12.

Jackson tallied 37 tackles, one forced fumble, two interceptions and finished second in the league with 10 pass deflections, garnering a spot on the 2014 American Athletic Conference Second Team.

Throughout his career, he has demonstrated strong man-to-man skills, being able to stick to his man and follow him all over the field.

Jackson has also shown durability, appearing in 26 of 26 possible games during his time as at Houston and proving he can be a player the defense can depend on every week.

Expectations are high for the Houston native this season, as he has appeared in several award watch lists, including the coveted Jim Thorpe award, presented to the top defensive back in college football, and made multiple preseason first-team AAC lists.

Sophomore Howard Wilson (6’1”, 176)-Wilson stepped onto the field his freshman year and had a promising campaign, starting three games and appearing in all 13.

Wilson finished his first season fifth on the team with 48 total tackles and second in interceptions with three.

Already one of the top playmakers in a talented secondary, Wilson has the skills necessary to become the top corner on the team over the next few years and, entering just his sophomore season, he is only scratching the surface of his abilities.

Senior Lee Hightower (6’2”, 195)- A transfer from Boise State University in 2013, Hightower started the first six games of his Cougar career before suffering an Achilles injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

During that brief time on the field, he was able to make an impact, registering at least three tackles in three different games, he notched three pass deflections and one interception, and he returned 54 yards for a touchdown against Memphis.

In 2015, expect the senior to be a key starter, showing of his versatility and his range as the tallest player in the secondary.

Best of the rest- In most defensive schemes, the fourth and fifth corner backs can see the field quite a bit, so this group could become vital to a successful season.

Senior Tyler White (5’10”, 185) is a former walk-on at Utah who provided depth in the secondary while appearing in all 13 games and finished the season with 12 tackles.

Junior Brandon Wilson (6’0”, 198) has been a reserve defensive back and special teams contributor as a Cougar, but started eight games last season and should be a key rotational player in 2015.

Red-shirt Freshmen Jeremy Winchester (6’, 185) and Joeal Williams (5’10”, 180) are both former three-star recruits with impressive high school resumes entering first seasons of playing time, and both have a shot to contribute right away and potentially develop into future starters.

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