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Monday, February 17, 2020

Football

A look at Houston’s newest Cougars after first round of signings


Cy Lakes quarterback Sofian Massoud highlighted the slew of recruits Houston landed after the first round of early signings on Wednesday. | Courtesy of CFISD Communication

Cy Lakes quarterback Sofian Massoud highlighted the slew of recruits Houston landed after the first round of early signings on Wednesday. | Courtesy of CFISD Communication

The Cougars picked up 15 recruits during the early signing period Wednesday. Though in his second year as head coach, the class is Dana Holgorsen’s first true recruiting class at UH.

Houston placed an emphasis on bringing in players ready to play now, finding some internationally to the JUCO ranks. Let’s take a gander at the newest Cougars.

Sofian Massoud – QB

School: Cy Lakes

A 6’2”, 195-pound dual-threat quarterback from Harlem, Massoud transferred to Cy Lakes as a senior. He tallied 42 total touchdowns in his one year in Katy. In doing so, he flipped his commitment from Rutgers to Houston in the summer, with Virginia, Temple and Boston College also offering him.

Derek Bowman – OG

School: Magnolia

Bowman, a tackle and guard, chose UH over a slew of Power Five schools, including Minnesota, Arizona and Indiana. Ultimately, the 6-foot-5-inch, 250-pound Magnolia recruit chose to stay close to home. 247 Sports graded him as the 21st-ranked offensive guard, giving him a three-star grade.

Nathaniel Dell – WR

School: Independence C.C. (Kansas)

A fleet-footed receiver out of Independence C.C., the 5’10”, 155-pound Dell upped his stock as a JUCO prospect after transferring out of Alabama A&M as a redshirt. He tallied 52 receptions for 766 yards and eight touchdowns. He will have three years of eligibility.

Darius Edmonds – WR

School: Atascocita 

UH flipped Edmonds from Louisiana Tech heading into Wednesday. A big wide receiver, he measures in at 6’4”, 205 pounds. Edmonds earned the honor of District 22-6A first team as a senior. He has the size to play both receiver and tight end.  

James Faminu – OT

School: London Academy (London)

Perhaps UH’s most curious signing, Faminu is a former rugby player in London. He last played for the London Blitz, an under-19 club in the British American Football Association. He carries a massive 6’6”, 350-pound frame.

Ugonna Nnanna – OT

School: Seguin (Arlington)

Nnanna continues UH’s offensive line rebuild. 247 Sports 103rd-ranked tackle, the 6’4”, 265-pound soon-to-be freshman chose Houston over the likes of Washington State, Vanderbilt and SMU. He is the 169th-ranked player in Texas.

Chidozie Nwankwo – DT

School: Foster 

Nwankwo grew up idolizing UH great Ed Oliver. Now, he will play the same position as the now-Buffalo Bill, on the same team.

Similar to Oliver, he’s a tad undersized at his position at 5’11”, 284 pounds. That didn’t stop LSU, Arkansas and Baylor from offering the Foster product.  

Dylan Robinson – WR

School: Atascocita

One of two Atascocita receivers to sign on, Robinson wasn’t a flip as Edmonds was. Despite Kansas State, Texas Tech and Utah lining up to sign him, the 6’1”, 185-pound wide receiver chose Houston in June. He won district 22-6A Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, recording 63 receptions for 1,117 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Malik Robinson – LB

School: Fort Scott C.C. (Kanas)

Once a highly-touted linebacker signee for North Carolina, Robinson failed to carve out a consistent role with the Tar Heels. He found himself dominating the competition at Fort Scott C.C., as ESPN rated him as the No. 2 JUCO linebacker prospect in the nation. The 6-foot, 220-pound linebacker tallied 42 total tackles in 2019.

Jayce Rogers – CB

School: Northwest Mississippi C.C. (Mississippi)

Once committed to play under Holgorsen at West Virginia, Rogers transferred to Northwest Mississippi C.C. before circling back to play under Holgorsen at Houston. A three-star JUCO recruit by 247 Sports, the 5’8”, 165-pound cornerback tallied two interceptions and eight pass breakups in 2019. 

Stacy Sneed – RB

School: Mansfield Timberview (Arlington)

A speed merchant out of the DFW area, Sneed decommitted from Colorado to open up his recruiting process. The 5’11”, 175-pound tailback chose UH over Missouri, Baylor and Arizona among other Power Five schools. He recorded 223 touches for 2,504 scrimmage yards and 32 total touchdowns in his final two seasons. 

JoVanni Stewart – S

School: West Virginia

Stewart, a 5’10”, 190-pound safety, is returning home after playing four seasons at West Virginia. He will also play under the coach who originally recruited him out of the Houston area in Holgorsen. Stewart is a graduate transfer with immediate eligibility. 

Trevonte Sylvester – DE

School: Breaux Bridge (Louisiana)

One of two Louisiana Tech flips (Edmonds as the other), Sylvester is a big signing for Houston’s defensive line. A twitchy athlete at 6’5”, 230 pounds, 247 Sports rated him as Louisiana’s 98th-best recruit, giving him three stars. He also saw playing time at tight end and as a basketball player. 

Laine Wilkins – P

School: ProKick Australia

Wilkins is walking in the shadow  of Australian sensation punter Dane Roy. Like the Ray Guy Award finalist, Wilkins projects as the future of the Cougars’ punting program, even if he’s not from the United States. 

Sedrick Williams – DT

School: Kilgore J.C. (Texas)

Coming out of Kilgore College, the 6’2″, 305-pound Williams fielded offers from North Texas, Florida Atlantic and Ohio before signing with UH. 247 Sports pegs him as a three-star JUCO recruit and the sixth-best JUCO defensive tackle. 

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