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Friday, September 24, 2021

Football

UH football update: Dana Holgorsen talks defensive back injury, running backs’ status


Senior running back Kyle Porter rushing into the end zone for a score against Prairie View A&M in the 2019 season. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Senior running back Kyle Porter rushing into the end zone for a score against Prairie View A&M in the 2019 season. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Houston football head coach Dana Holgorsen spoke to media on Wednesday afternoon and gave an update on various players and positions, which include one veteran corner sidelined for the next few weeks due to surgery and the head coach’s opinion on the team’s running back position.

Junior cornerback Kelvin Clemmons recently had foot surgery Holgorsen said on Wednesday, which will sideline him for the next few weeks, however, he is expected to make a return at some point this season.

The 6-foot-1-inch defensive back redshirted the 2019 season. Before coming to Houston, he played for Hutchinson Community College, where he was the ninth-ranked JUCO cornerback by 247 Sports after tallying 34 tackles, 15 pass breakups and one 40-yard pick-six in 2018.

Outside of Clemmons, Holgorsen spoke on how much talent he said UH has across the defensive back corps. He shouted out multiple players including seniors Deontay Anderson and Jovanni Stewart along with junior cornerback Marcus Jones.

“It’s real competitive,” Holgersen said on the defensive backs. “They’re making our receivers better every single day too, which is what I’m encouraged by … it’s making everyone better.”

Running backs

When it comes to the running back position, Holgorsen had a clear statement on the unit for the 2020 season.

No saving people this year,” he said. “Everyone gets a free year. We’re clearly old and experienced.”

The two backs leading the way for the Cougars at this position are returning players, seniors Kyle Porter and Mulbah Car, whom Holgerson said are looking strong during these practices.

“Kyle Porter looks as good as I’ve ever seen him,” Holgorsen said. “We scrimmaged (on Tuesday), and he ran the ball as hard as I’ve seen him since I’ve been here.”

Porter is coming off a season where he appeared in 11 games and scored three rushing touchdowns while running for 615 yards in 2019.

As for Car, he played in only four games last season after suffering plaguing injuries, but he still managed to rush for three touchdowns and 375 yards.

Entering 2020, Holgorsen is liking what he is seeing from the 6-foot back, and while the injuries appear to be in the rearview mirror, the team is also being careful with him during practices to make sure it stays that way.

“Mulbah Carr is healthy and looks really good,” Holgorsen said. “(He’s) hard to tackle. He’s coming off a back injury. We’re being careful with him.”

As for the rest of the position, the head coach also mentioned senior Chandler Smith and sophomore Kelan Walker as players who the team will look to for depth. 

Holgorsen gave Walker in particular praise on the strides he has made this season.

“He’s a guy we can rely on,” the head coach said.

Holgorsen also said that the coaching staff has yet to make a decision on the rotation at the running back position for this season.

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