Cougar Football returns to spring practice

The Houston Cougars returned from spring break to go through practice #4 on Tuesday morning. Players were in shells (helmet, shoulder pads, and shorts) for the two-plus hour workout.

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Around 20 high school football coaches were in attendance, including Katy head coach Gary Joseph, the father-in-law of UH offensive line coach Eman Naghavi. As appears to be the standard with UH’s new staff, the high school coaches were invited to attend offensive and defensive staff meetings following practice. One coach said there was a “night and day” difference between the 2024 staff and the previous one.

Several recruits were in attendance, including four-star QB Adam Schobel from Columbus. Schobel is a Baylor commit but was in Houston for the Tuesday practice. He participated in this weekend’s Under Armour camp in Houston.

The guy who has impressed me in all four practices is #83 Mekhi Mews, the 5’7″ UGA transfer. Mews is not big, but he’s a football player. He’s technically sound, runs good routes, and makes plays. QB Lucas Coley threw a deep ball – maybe 45 yards downfield – and Mews made a catch around the defender’s body in something of a bear hug. The defender could not have been in a better position, but Mews made a great play.

Two or three snaps later, Mews laid out for a great catch on the left sideline, having come across the field.

Willie Fritz is fascinating to watch. Near the end of practice, the team took a water break as Fritz shouted one of his mantras: “Helmets off, water down, coach ’em up.” The staff insists that players take their helmets off for breaks, and while they get water, coaches instruct. There’s no wasted time or movement.

After he shouted those instructions, Willie ran towards me, shook hands, and talked with a high school assistant coach, then walked up to a local head coach and shook his hand, talked with him, and laughed for about a minute. He then found a recruit, shook his hand, and started jogging back to the huddle before seeing Nadame Tucker. He stopped, seemingly remembering a coaching point, and walked through it with Tucker. Then he brought all the players in to wrap it up.

Here’s Willie after practice, answering some questions, followed by cuts of wide receivers doing work in practice.




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