Football Sports

Roundtable: Underrated picks to make a big impact

“We want to win the American. That feeling freshman year has always been in the back of my head. Not having it the past two years has made it more and more desirable, ” said senior center Will Noble. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

While players like junior quarterback D’Eriq King or junior defensive tackle Ed Oliver dominate headlines for UH football, there are a few players that have gone under the radar this season.

From an often underappreciated position to defensive stalwarts, the Cougars are brimming with underrated talent.

Staff Writer Jackson Gatlin

Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers; these are the players casual fans often follow and appreciate because they’re the ones “making the plays,” but these guys wouldn’t crack the highlight reel without having a strong offensive line to protect them.

Senior Will Noble is no stranger to being a part of a formidable offensive line. With over 30 games played in the last three seasons, Noble has been a pillar at center.

This past season, Noble helped the Cougars to 2,002 yards on the ground and 25 rushing touchdowns, and he was part of a line that did not allow a single sack in five different games. 

While Noble has received All-American awards and American Athletic Conference Team nods from national media, his contribution to the Cougars far exceeds what a few awards would have you believe.

As far as UH names are concerned, Noble should be right there alongside junior quarterback D’Eriq King and junior defensive tackle Ed Oliver whenever anyone mentions UH football.

Assistant Sports Editor Trenton Whiting

There is no disputing that the best player on the defense is Oliver. He is expected to dominate next season, as he has done the past two.

But in order for the defense as a whole to dominate, someone else will need to step up, someone like junior linebacker Leroy Godfrey.

Godfrey enters his junior season after a year in which he was second on the team with tackles for loss and total sacks on the year.

If Godfrey recreates his production from last season, the defense will be able to replicate its success and rise even higher.

It will also be important for Godfrey to take another step forward this year, as it is Oliver’s final year as a Cougar.

This season will be a great chance for him to solidify his place as a leader on the defense and soften the blow it will take with the departure of Oliver.

Sports Editor Andres Chio

After sitting out two years, sophomore defensive end Isaiah Chambers had every right to be rusty in the Red-White game this past spring.

Instead, Chambers came out and made two sacks and almost a third in his first showing in front of the UH fans.

Chambers was ranked the seventh best defensive end in the nation out of his high school recruiting class. . He went to TCU, but was redshirted. Then he transferred to UH a year ago.

After the Red-White game, Oliver praised the rest of the defense and Chambers specifically as a hungry, hard-working group of players.

Paired with Oliver, Chambers will wreak mayhem in the backfield, and I foresee him earning at least five sacks and 40 tackles next season.

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