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UH football 2021 season grades: Wide receivers

Sophomore receiver Tank Dell led the way for UH in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 2021. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

Sophomore receiver Tank Dell led the way for UH in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 2021. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

As we dig deeper and analyze each position group and how they impacted the season in our 2021 Houston football season grades, it’s time to look at how the Cougars’ wide receivers fared.

Tank Dell’s sophomore shine

Coming off his freshman season on the team after transferring to the Cougars from Independence Community College, sophomore wide receiver Nathaniel Dell did not skip a beat and had himself a breakout second season. 

Having finished last season with 29 receptions, 428 yards and three touchdowns in eight games, Dell immediately became the Cougars’ main target this year as he hauled in 90 catches for 1,329 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Dell recorded six games of 100 or more receiving yards with four performances surpassing 150 yards, including his career-high 165 yard and three touchdown game against SMU.

Even on the biggest stages, Dell made a name for himself in elite 150-plus yard performances against Cincinnati in the American Athletic Conference championship game and Auburn in the Birmingham Bowl.

With former wide receiver Marquez Stevenson declaring for the NFL draft, several wide receivers transferring and the Cougars needing improvement on all fronts offensively, Dell far surpassed expectations for his second year in the process of becoming a crucial weapon for head coach Dana Holgorsen’s team.

The rise of Jake Herslow

In his first year with the team after spending three seasons at Old Dominion, Herslow had to prove himself every day just to even be able to get on the team.

As opportunities arose game by game, Herslow became a crucial member of UH’s receiving core through reliability and play-making ability.

Herslow finished the season with the third-most receptions (36) and the fourth-most yards (480), as he capped off the season in a tie for the second-most touchdowns with five. 

His impact on the team’s receiving core and the offense as a whole is undoubtedly there, as he straddled around as junior quarterback Clayton Tune’s second or third best target while never failing to make big plays when called upon.

Rounding out the rest

Junior wide receiver Jeremy Singleton was the best of the rest, finishing the season with 29 receptions for 493 yards and five touchdowns including his two-touchdown performance in his hometown on the road against Tulane and his only 100+ yard performance against UConn.

Junior wide receiver KeSean Carter caught 26 passes for 331 yards and one touchdown in nine games, while senior wide receiver Jaylen Erwin hauled in 14 receptions for 188 yards and his first touchdown in two years since transferring from UCLA.

Sophomore wide receiver Peyton Sawyer rounded out the group with four catches for 51 yards on the year.

Grade: A

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