Football Sports

Three former Cougars return to TDECU as Patriots

The University of Houston’s TDECU Stadium will serve as the temporary practice field for AFC champions the New England Patriots.  | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

The New England Patriots will practice at TDECU Stadium in preparation for the Feb. 5 Super Bowl 51 game, according to Houston Chronicle reporter Joseph Duarte, who tweeted the news Sunday night.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons will practice at Rice University, where the football field flooded during Wednesday’s flash flooding.

Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts is returning to the University of Houston, where he played for three seasons. In 2015, he was one of the Cougars’ team captains and started in all 14 games.

That year he also led the nation with 88 solo tackles and led the American Athletic Conference with 142 total tackles. He was invited to the NFLPA Bowl at the conclusion of the season.

Roberts took to Twitter to express his excitement about returning to UH.

Two other Cougars are returning to Houston from the Patriots.

Offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer played for the Cougars from 2004-2008. His senior year, he started in all 13 games.

The wide receivers coach for the Patriots, Chad O’Shea, is also a UH alumnus. He played for the Cougars as a quarterback from 1994-1995. After that, he stayed at UH to coach for four years.

The NFL team is affecting parts of campus life beyond TDECU Stadium. On-campus mail deliveries will be delayed by one business day until the Super Bowl.

“One of the NFL teams will be using the University of Houston football stadium as a practice field,” said Sally Rowland-Kelly, the director of printing and postal services, in an email sent to all students living on campus. “Because of this, as well as the NFL and U.S. Postal Service security protocols, all incoming mail and packages must undergo additional screenings and reviews before distribution.”

This delay began Monday and will continue nearly two weeks through Feb. 4, the day before the Super Bowl.

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