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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Football

3 Houston football players that would benefit from a 2020 season


Senior wide receiver Marquez Stevenson caught 52 passes for 907 yards and nine touchdowns in the 2019 season. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Senior wide receiver Marquez Stevenson caught 52 passes for 907 yards and nine touchdowns in the 2019 season. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

UPDATED: With the American Athletic Conference announcing that the 2020 season will play eight conference games and allow each individual school to schedule up to four nonconference games, the Houston football team will get a chance to redeem themselves after the 4-8 finish in 2019.

With the decision now official, The American joins other conferences like the ACC, which will play only 11 games, 10 of which will be conference competitions, the SEC, which agreed to a 10-game conference-only season, and the Pac-12, which also agreed to a conference-only schedule, with a set plan for 2020.

When it comes to UH football, there are a few players that could have more to gain from a season if it is able to be done safely.

Here are three players that could benefit if there is a 2020 season:

Clayton Tune

Junior quarterback Clayton Tune started in seven games for the Cougars in 2019 after quarterback D’Eriq King redshirted four games into the season.

The 6-foot-3-inch Carrollton native threw 1,533 yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions in those games. He also rushed for two additional touchdowns.

Heading into the season as a starter, Tune has a lot to prove for UH as he follows up King, who accounted for 81 total touchdowns during his time with the Cougars (50 passing, 28 rushing and three receiving).

Tune showed flashes of being a high-caliber starter for Houston in 2019, including the last game of the season against Navy where he threw for 393 yards and four touchdowns, but with the strong flashes also came some lows, which in that same game came in the form of four interceptions.

In 2020, the biggest focal point for Tune will be consistency. If he can string together more strong performances like those against SMU and Navy and reduce the turnovers, UH will get closer to the turnaround head coach Dana Holgorsen wants for his second season with the program.

Keith Corbin

Similar to King, senior wide receiver Keith Corbin redshirted in 2019 after just four games into the season. In those contests, he racked up two touchdowns and 192 yards.

The reason for his decision was so he could focus on completing his degree and develop as a player as he put all his chips into 2020. Unfortunately for Corbin, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrinkle into that plan. But if games are played, he has a lot to gain from a season.

In 2018, the 6-foot-1-inch Beaumont native scored 10 touchdowns while hauling in 40 passes for 691 yards. The receiver’s best game came that season came against Texas Tech when he caught seven passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns.

Outside of looking to build a solid resume to garner the attention of NFL teams, Corbin will also look to pay off the sacrifice he made in 2019 with the long layoff. 

Marquez Stevenson

Senior wide receiver Marquez Stevenson followed up a breakout 2018 season with another strong year in 2019, racking up nine receiving touchdowns and accumulating over 900 receiving yards in both.

After entering his name to be evaluated for the 2020 NFL Draft, the 6-foot Shreveport, Louisiana, native chose to return to the Cougars for his final year.

In 2019, Stevenson had several 100-yard games and even had one 200-yard performance against SMU. In that contest, the wideout finished with 211 receiving yards and two touchdowns, one of which was a 96-yard sprint to the end zone. 

A 2020 season for Stevenson will not only be a chance to get more highlights performances on film, but also to take the feedback he was given when he was evaluated for the NFL Draft and improve in the areas they told him to focus on. 

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