Dell, Tune, Parish highlight UH football’s pro day
Fifteen UH football athletes participated in the team’s 2023 pro day on Thursday, working out in front of NFL scouts from all 32 teams ahead of the draft in April.
“It’s a fun day,” said head coach Dana Holgorsen. “The one they (the players) say is ‘I’ve waited my whole life for this moment.”
Senior quarterback Clayton Tune and junior receiver Nathanial “Tank” Dell, headlined the evening connecting one last time during the day’s offensive drills.
Tune got to take in the moment of perhaps the final throw to his favorite Cougar target.
“On that last throw, Jordan (Palmer)… was like, ‘You know, this is y’all’s last completion,'” Tune said. “(It was) definitely cool to have that opportunity to throw to him on last time.”
For Dell, Tune and senior defensive back Gervarrius Owens, it was their second chance to audition in front of teams. Back in February, the trio performed at the NFL Combine.
According to Dell, the faster progression of the pro day compared to the NFL Combine and the comfort of being around teammates made Thursday’s workout a bit smoother for him.
“(At) the Combine it’s just a long process. You run one route then you’ve got to sit for like five minutes,” Dell said. “(Here) I was more relaxed. I was with my brothers.”
Perhaps the most interesting Cougar prospect of the day was senior defensive lineman Derek Parish, who had been training for the pre-draft process whilst recovering from his season-ending bicep tear in Week 4 against Rice.
Parish wowed scouts and spectators with his athleticism to start the day, then showed his positional versatility when he caught passes from Tune as a tight end and even did some long snapping.
“Some of the teams wanted me to do this or wanted me to do that,” Parish said. “That’s why I came out here and did all of it.”
The 241-pound edge rusher jumped a team-high 37 inches in the vertical leap and another event-best 27 reps in the bench press. Parish especially drew the excitement of his teammates when he ran a blistering 4.56 40-yard dash.
Holgorsen was adamant that the DL/TE/FB/LS from Pearland should get a chance in the NFL, regardless of where he lines up on the field.
“I don’t care what you play him as I would want him on our team,” Holgorsen said. “The production is going to come. What position (do) you put him at? I don’t care.”
Among the NFL personnel at the UH indoor practice facility was Houston Texans General Manager Nick Caserio, as the Cougars are likely to extend its streak of consecutive NFL draftees to eight years.