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Wednesday, March 29, 2023


Unpacking Dana Holgorsen, Houston’s first day of spring practice

Dana Holgorsen said the Cougars are "in a really good spot" heading into spring practice, his second at the reigns as Houston's head coach. | Lino Sandil/The Cougar

Dana Holgorsen said the Cougars are “in a really good spot” heading into spring practice, his second year at the reigns as Houston’s head coach. | Lino Sandil/The Cougar

If you ask him, Dana Holgorsen will brush off former Houston quarterback D’Eriq King’s transfer to Miami and his coaching staff shake-ups as things that happen “to every football team across the country every single year.”

Instead, the second-year head coach said his squad “is in a really good spot” heading into spring practices, which started Tuesday and spans until March 27.

“Everyone knows what to do,” Holgorsen said. “Our morale is good … our depth is good, and I’m excited about this group right now.”

Holgorsen lost nickels coach and special teams coordinator Blake Gideon to Ole Miss and former running backs and tight ends coach Justin Johnson to Baylor, but, he said those departures won’t get in Houston’s way.

“Just because you lose a couple coaches, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have stability,” Holgorsen said. “What I can say is our schemes are going to remain the same. What we’re doing … makes a lot of sense to these guys.”

The Cougars, who finished a disappointing 4-8 in his first year, also have a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in Shannon Dawson after Holgorsen demoted Marquel Blackwell from the positions to running backs coach.

“It was clear to me (Dawson) was the most knowledgeable guy in the room, so the most knowledgeable guy in the room gets to coach the quarterbacks,” Holgorsen said. “That was an easy move.”

Luckily for the Cougars, the offseason’s events, including King’s transfer and Dawson’s promotion, benefits Houston’s quarterbacks.

“It’s going to make them better,” Holgorsen said, emphasizing how junior Clayton Tune and sophomore Logan Holgorsen’s reps after King’s departure will help in the long run.

On top of Tune and Logan Holgorsen, the former West Virginia coach also touched on junior Ike Ogbogu and freshman-to-be Soffian Massoud, quarterbacks who UH will rely on moving forward with practices. 

“I’m excited about both (Tune and Logan Holgorsen),” Holgorsen said, “Soffian and Ike as well and being able to have four good-quality arms that we can get through spring with.”

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