Jan. 11, 2012
Houston, Texas - Houston Football continues to receive recognition for its record-breaking 13-1 season as rookies Rowdy Harper and Derrick Mathews earned Freshman All-America recognition from various publications this postseason.
Harper was named a Second Team Freshman All-American by Phil Steele Publications. The Broken Arrow, Okla., native started 14 consecutive games at right tackle and helped block for college football's most productive offense. Overall the Cougars led the nation in total offense (599.1), passing offense (450.1) and points per game (49.3) behind Harper's solid play up front. The team also led the country in total first downs (393) and total points scored (690).
In addition, Harper was tabbed an honorable mention freshman All-American by College Football News.
Also named to that same honorable mention College Football News list was Mathews. The former Houston North Shore High School standout ranked second on the squad with 106 total tackles, including 10 tackles-for-loss, a sack and three interceptions. Mathews finished his initial collegiate campaign in magnificent fashion, recording nine tackles, a tackle-for-loss and a pass broken up in the 30-14 TicketCity Bowl victory against Penn State.
Harper and Mathews are just two of 15 depth-chart toppers back for 2012. The Cougars return four starting offensive linemen (Jacolby Ashworth, Ty Cloud, Kevin Forsch and Harper) and First Team All-Conference USA running back Charles Sims on the offensive side of the football. On defense, UH returns a number of standouts, including two defensive line regulars (Eric Braswell and Dominic Miller), linebackers Phillip Steward and Mathews, corners D.J. Hayden and Zach McMillian and safety Kent Brooks. Not listed among those returns are Zeke Riser (DL) and Colton Valencia (SS), who also started four games last season. Back are on special teams are placekicker Matt Hogan, punter Richie Leone and long snapper Brandon Hartson.
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