Sneak peek at new players, staff in spring season
The Cougar football team starts their 2017 season on March 6, the first of 15 days dedicated to spring training. While it’s not officially the season or preseason, this time together for the team is crucial — they’ll form bonds that will lead them to victories in the fall.
Spring football will culminate on April 15 with the Red and White Game. This game will be the first time students get to see quarterback Kyle Allen in a Houston jersey. There will also be several new faces on the defensive side of the ball, as five defensive starters have either graduated or declared for the NFL Draft.
Finally, it will be a sneak peek into how head coach Major Applewhite and his staff will call the season.
One of the newest additions to Applewhite’s coaching staff is Chris Scelfo, the new offensive line coach. Scelfo joins the Cougars following an eight-year stint as the tight end coach for the Atlanta Falcons. While there, he was a major key in the success of All-Pro Tight End Tony Gonzalez.
Scelfo brings with him coaching experience in the NFL Playoffs, as well as in collegiate football. His nine seasons at the University of Tulane ended with him as the second winningest coach in the program’s history.
The Red and White Game also presents an opportunity for head coaches from local high school teams to see what the Cougars are up to. Director of High School Relations Tim Teykl and Director of Player Personnel Bobby Merritt are the two additions who have this responsibility.
Teykl comes to the Cougars following 26 years as the head coach at B.F. Terry High School in Rosenberg. Teykl’s award-winning coaching stint saw him become the winningest coach in the history of B.F. Terry High School and Lamar Consolidated I.S.D.
His 16 playoff berths puts him in position to have great repertoires with the coaches around the state.
Merritt comes to the Cougars following a one-year stint as the director of football recruiting at Tennessee. Before that, he spent 12 years in the NFL in the college scouting department, first with the Detroit Lions and later with the Houston Texans.
His experience of knowing how an NFL personnel office works has him ripe for the same position with the Cougars.