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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Football

Transfers bolster football and basketball rosters


Redshirt sophomore Deontay Anderson led the Cougars with five tackles in the Red & White game this spring. | Peter Scamardo/The Cougar

The summer is a time for training, preparation and recruiting for most college sports teams, and the Cougars are no exception.

Houston has been busy this offseason, adding six transfers to its rosters, many of whom can make impacts right away.

Redshirt sophomore Deontay Anderson transferred in May from Ole Miss, where he started all 12 games his freshman year. Anderson was rated the No. 1 safety in college football by ESPN in 2016 but was redshirted his sophomore season.

The Houston native was teammates with junior quarterback D’Eriq King in high school, and his uncle, Greg Anderson, played basketball at UH with Phi Slama Jama.

Joining Anderson in the secondary is Notre Dame transfer graduate Nick Watkins. Watkins was a depth player for the Fighting Irish last season and will likely play a similar role for the Cougars.

Although King has a firm hold on the starting quarterback position, Houston added graduate student Quinten Dormady to its quarterback lineup. Out of high school, Dormady was a pro-style quarterback and rarely used his legs to gain yardage at Tennessee.

With King, the Cougars have used run-option and play action offense to keep defenders on their toes, but Dormady could add a different flavor to the offense.

New offensive coordinator Kendal Briles has used the deep pass to much success in his past stints with Baylor and Florida Atlantic, something the pro-style uses often.

Two different quarterback styles could give offense the ability to throw the other team off or vary its plays if one isn’t working.

A new threat for the quarterbacks to use is graduate wide receiver Raelon Singleton, who is joining from Utah.

Singleton was Utah’s second-best receiver over the last two seasons and had over 400 receiving yards both seasons, something only three receivers at UH have done in that time frame.

His experience will be needed since both of Houston’s top receivers graduated after last season.

Like Singleton, graduate running back Terence Williams could make an instant impact.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Williams is leaving Baylor and joining Briles, who coached him in 2016 when he ran for over 1,000 yards with 11 touchdowns.

No Cougar running back has ran for 1,000 yards in a season since Kenneth Farrow ran for 1,081 yards in 2014.

The Cougars were down a running back after last year’s leading rusher, junior Duke Catalon, left the squad in the spring. Williams fills that big need.

Of course, football is not the only team to bolster its ranks with transfers. Graduate transfer Landon Goesling is joining the basketball team from St. Edward’s University, where he made the All-Region First Team in the NCAA Division II.

The 6’2″ guard adds size to a guard position that was undersized last season. Houston was one of the shortest teams in Division I basketball last season but still made it to the final 32 of March Madness.

In a press release by UH Athletics, head coach Kelvin Sampson said, “Landon is a really good guard. He can play the point, he can shoot, and he can play off the dribble. He is extremely coachable, he is a winner and he is a tough kid, who fits our culture.”

All athletes named besides Anderson have one season of eligibility left, so the new Cougars will be trying to make a big impact in the final year of their careers.

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