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Friday, July 10, 2020

Football

‘He’s the man’: Dana Holgorsen assures Clayton Tune is Houston’s starter


Head coach Dana Holgorsen said junior quarterback Clayton Tune was HOuston's "clear No. 1" for the starting spot after appearing in seven games in 2019. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Head coach Dana Holgorsen said junior quarterback Clayton Tune was Houston’s “clear No. 1” for the starting spot after appearing in seven games in 2019. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Heading into spring practices, there was no question for head coach Dana Holgorsen that junior quarterback Clayton Tune would be Houston’s go-to guy under center.

“He’s the man, alright,” Holgorsen told media on Tuesday morning. “For being a true junior, he’s got a lot of experience.”

Holgorsen laments Tune, who was forced into the starting spot four games into 2019, did not get an extra year as a redshirt, but the second-year coach said the 6-foot-3 slinger was lucky enough to get playing time his freshman season.

“Unfortunately he didn’t get that redshirt his first year, but he played in five games, which got him good experience and helped him go into his sophomore year where he got a lot of good reps,” Holgorsen said.

In 2018, his freshman campaign, Tune filled in at the starting spot after quarterback D’Eriq King went down with an injury, throwing for 795 yard and eight touchdowns.

But after seven games (he sat against UConn with a hamstring injury) as the head of the Cougars’ offense in 2019, Tune, Holgorsen said, has gotten comfortable as a team leader.

“It feels like this is his team,” Holgorsen said. “I think it’s going to make him a better player, just knowing that he’s the guy.”

The junior threw for 1,051 yards last season, passing for seven touchdowns on the way and rushing for another.

With the Cougars going into their second year under Holgorsen’s offense, the coach expects Tune to continue getting better in the spring.

“His overall game has improved,” Holgorsen said of his man under center. “Year two in this system is always a lot better than year one… He’s in complete control.”

Despite there being three other quarterbacks in Houston’s pocket, including his son Logan Holgorsen and freshman-to-be Soffian Massoud, Holgorsen assured Tune will be the Cougars’ leader from here on out.

“The good news is he’s the clear No. 1,” Holgorsen said. “There’s no quarterback controversies whatsoever.”

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