Dimel and His Cougars Make Recruiting Haul

HOUSTON, Texas --- University of Houston head coach Dana Dimel today announced the inking of 28 student-athletes who will suit up for the Cougars this fall. Today is the first official day prospective football players can sign their National Letters of Intent.

Dimel-who expressed in his initial press conference that he would heavily recruit Houston and the state of Texas-was a man of his word today, bringing in a slew of Texas recruits, including 13 from the Greater Houston area. Among Dimel's recruiting haul are 23 freshmen and 12 Greater Houston recruits, including Player of the Year Anthony Evans, a running back from Pearland High School.

In what most Cougar fans are calling the best recruiting class in almost two decades, Dimel's Class of 2001 includes 17 on the defensive side of the ball and 11 offensive stars. Included in the prized booty are standouts Blade Bassler, a quarterback from Rockdale High School who's father played for the legendary Bill Yeoman at UH, and safety Carlos Jones, who turned down an abundance of major offers to stay close to home.

The class that includes eight defensive backs, four defensive linemen, five linebackers, three each of quarterbacks, offensive linemen and running backs and a pair of wide receivers was ranked the 52nd best recruiting class in the nation by Lone Star Recruiting. LSR, which is a division of Rivals.com, also ranked the Cougars' class number one in Conference USA and fourth in the state overall, trailing only Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

"I am extremely pleased with the balance of this class," commented the second-year head coach. "We are balanced by position and balanced by geography. We have kids from every part of this city, from the north, south, east and west. We have the city of Houston covered.

"Of course, our main concern was quarterback, and we addressed our needs with three outstanding players. Our second concern was defensive backs, and we grabbed eight guys there, including two (Roland Cola and Victor Malone) who are already with us. Finally, we needed to address the linebacker position, and I am quite pleased with the recruits we signed here.

"This (recruiting) process began last January, when we first arrived in Houston. We began cultivating the Texas high school coaches, which opened up the doors at both ends, and we were able to share knowledge. During the spring we invited the coaches to be a part of our development, and this process culminated this fall when we were able to sign not only the 'diamonds in the rough,' but also the top quality football players of this state."

The Cougars are scheduled to begin spring practice on March 28 and the spring game is scheduled for Saturday, April 21.


Blade Bassler, 6-4, 220, Rockdale, Texas (Rockdale HS)

  • District Offensive MVP
  • Member of the Houston Chronicle, Fort Worth Star Telegram and Dallas Morning News Top 100 list.
  • Also selected First Team All District as a free safety.
  • Named to the All Brazos Valley Second Team.
  • Was picked First Team Super Centex as a kicker.
  • Is a two-time Team Captain.
  • Ranked as the nation's #52 quarterback and number four in Texas by Rivals 100.com.
  • Also plays basketball and runs track.

    Nick Eddy, 6-4, 230, Courtland, Calif. (Delta HS/American River College)

  • Named MVP of junior-college team.
  • Threw for over 2,500 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.
  • Connected on 18-of-26 for 350 yards and four TDs in JC Championship game.
  • Was named All-League twice in high school.
  • Led team to district championship.

    Barrick Nealy, 6-4, 205, Dallas, Texas (Adamson HS)

  • Offensive Player of the Year.
  • Named First Team All-District and started three years at quarterback.
  • Nominated for both the football and basketball state All-Star games.
  • Threw for 1,667 yards and 13 TDs while rushing for an additional 796 yards and nine scores as a senior.
  • Passed for almost 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in his career.
  • Registered 185 career tackles and picked off 11 passes as a free safety.
  • Also First Team All-District in basketball and Co-Player of the Year.


    Anthony Evans, 5-10, 205, Pearland, Texas (Pearland HS)

  • Two-time District MVP.
  • Four-time All-District.
  • First-team All-State as a senior; 2nd Team All-State as a junior.
  • Houston Chronicle Player of the Year.
  • Rushed for 6,192 yards and 66 touchdowns in his career.
  • Rushed for over 2,000 yards in two consecutive seasons.
  • Topped 300 yards rushing on five occassions.
  • Maintains a 3.46 grade point average.

    Matt Schirmer, 6-0, 225, Holton, Kan. (Holton HS)

  • Two-time All-State running back.
  • Was the 4A Player of the Year.
  • Owns the second-best career rushing mark in the state of Kansas.
  • Was an All-League running back and linebacker.
  • Rushed for 1,984 yards as a senior.
  • Career marks included 6,100 yards rushing.
  • Helped lead team to 9-1 mark last year.

    Cody Thibodeaux, 6-1, 205, Winnie, Texas (East Chambers HS)

  • A member of several Texas Top 100 squads.
  • Named Second Team All-State running back.
  • Picked as a First Team All-District member.
  • Selected Team MVP.
  • Was the district Offensive Player of the Year twice.
  • Also picked as an All-District safety.
  • Member of the Golden Triangle Super Team.
  • Listed as the 33rd best recruit in the state of Texas by Lone Star Recruiting.
  • Rushed for over 1,600 yards as a junior and over 500 yards in injury-shortened senior season.


    T.J. Jenkins, 5-11, 180, Dallas, Texas (Hillcrest HS)

  • Named First Team All-District on both offense and defense.
  • Two-time defending state champion in the 100-meters (10.4).
  • Had 31 catches for 693 yards (average 22.3) and six touchdowns.
  • Led the district in interceptions with six.
  • Also had six pass break ups, 36 tackles and one fumble recovery.
  • Has one of the top returning 100-meter times in the state.

    Steve Lawrence, 6-2, 190, Dallas, Texas (Spruce HS)

  • Named First Team All-District.


    David Douglas, 6-3, 295, Houston, Texas (Klein Forest HS)

  • Two-time First Team All-District selection.
  • Grabbed Second Team All-District honors as a sophomore.
  • Was selected as the Offensive Line MVP.
  • Also throws the shot and discus for the track team.
  • Teammate of Jessie Bryant, another member of the Class of 2001.

    John McGilvray, 6-5, 250, Mexia, Texas (Mexia HS)

  • Selected First Team All-District on both sides of the ball.
  • Named to the Super Centex First Team as an offensive lineman.
  • Picked Second Team All-State.
  • Led team to a 9-3 mark as a senior.
  • Was a member of 3A state basketball championship team in 1998.
  • Averages 12.9 points, eight rebounds and four blocks per game.
  • Also plays baseball where he is a All-District first baseman.

    Roy Swan, 6-2, 320, Texas City, Texas (Texas City HS)

  • Was ranked as the 84th-best Texas recruit by David Garvin, a recruiting guru.
  • Two-time member of the First Team All District squad.
  • Also a two-time member of the First Team, All-County team.
  • Named to the Gridiron Gold All-State team.
  • A member of the Dave Earnbell's Top 300.
  • Named to the All-Mainland First Team as both a junior and senior.
  • Helped lead 1999 team to state 4A championship.


    Jessie Bryant, 6-3, 290, Houston, Texas (Klein Forest HS)

  • Three-year letterman at Klein Forest.
  • Named First Team All-District.
  • Listed as a Top 10 defensive lineman by Houston Chronicle.
  • Was a preseason member of the Touchdown Club.
  • Helped lead squad to a 7-3 mark this past fall.
  • Teammate of David Douglas, another member of the Class of 2001.

    Theadric Lee, 6-3, 290, Houston, Texas (Galena Park HS)

  • Was Second Team All-District tight end.
  • Will switch to defense at Houston.
  • Registered 39 tackles, six sacks and 11 quarterback pressures as a defender.
  • Also had three caused fumbles, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery.
  • Plays center on the basketball team.

    Jeff Mayhew, 6-4, 270, Nederland, Texas (Nederland HS)

  • 2000 Prep Star preseason First Team All-State.
  • A member of the 2001 Oil Bowl squad.
  • Selected to several Texas Top 100 squads.
  • Was named the Southeast Texas Super-Team Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Two-time First Team All-District offensive and defensive lineman.
  • Was a two-way starter on Nederland squad that reached the state quarterfinals.
  • A member of the Who's Who Among American High School Students.

    Sharod McGowan, 6-2, 270, Waco, Texas (Waco HS)

  • Selected First Team Super Centex.
  • Was listed as a member of the Texas Top 100.
  • Picked as Second Team All-State after banner senior season.
  • Also picked up First Team All-District honors.
  • Participates in track and is a member of the weight-lifting team.
  • A member of the Honor Roll and Vice President of FCA.


    Bryant Brown, 6-2, 220, Houston, Texas (North Shore HS)

  • Was a member of several Texas Top 100 lists.
  • Listed as the 44th-best Texas recruit by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
  • Selected First Team All-District two straight years.
  • Picked as the team's Defensive MVP.
  • Registered 102 tackles, including eight for losses.
  • Also had 15 quarterback pressures, six sacks, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
  • Was a preseason All Greater Houston selection.
  • Member of USA Today Top 300 recruits.

    Lance Everson, 6-2, 220, Richmond, Texas (Terry HS)

  • Selected Second Team All-State.
  • Was Defensive MVP of his district.
  • Grabbed First Team All-District honors twice.
  • Was named a member of the All Greater Houston squad.
  • Runs a 4.75 in the 40-yard dash.
  • Led team in tackles last two years.

    Bruce Robinson, 6-1, 215, Daytona Beach, Fla. (Mainland HS)

  • Led his team in tackles with over 100.
  • A member of the Quarterbacks Club.
  • Younger brother of current Cougar, Brian Robinson.

    John Shivers, 6-2, 235, Corinth, Miss. (Corinth HS/Northeast Mississippi CC)

  • Led all Mississippi Jucos in tackles.
  • Named Second Team All-State.
  • Named to the participate in the Juco All-Star Game.
  • Biggest game was versus East Mississippi, logging 13 tackles, including two for losses.
  • Selected Defensive MVP as a senior in high school.
  • A member of the Dandy Dozen.
  • Was a selection to the Division I 3A Super 22.

    Damien West, 6-2, 250, Missouri City, Texas (Dulles HS/Texas A&M)

  • Transfer from Texas A&M.
  • Played one season with the Aggies, registering three tackles in eight games in 2000.
  • Earned All-America mention as a senior at Dulles HS.
  • Registered 206 total tackles, including 15 sacks, 28 tackles for loss and four interceptions.
  • Was a preseason Houston Touchdown Club Defensive Player to Watch.
  • Named Sophomore of the Year in his district after posting 111 tackles.
  • Led team in kickoff returns for two years.


    Roland Cola, 5-9, 170, Marrero, La. (John Ehret HS/Dodge City CC)

  • Midyear juco transfer.
  • Played two seasons at Dodge City, playing running back as a freshman and defensive back as a sophomore.
  • Named Second Team All Conference as a defensive back.
  • Led the conference in interceptions with eight.
  • Registered two picks in crucial game versus Garden City CC.
  • Was a three-year letterman in high school, picking up both All District and All Region honors.
  • Also runs track.

    Marcus Estes, 6-1, 190, Houston, Texas (Madison HS)

  • Was a finalist for the Touchdown Club's Defensive Player of the Year award.
  • Named the MVP of his district.
  • Selected First Team, All-District.
  • Also picked as his team's Defensive MVP.
  • Named Madison High School's Best Defensive Back.
  • Picked off eight passes last season, including seven in seven games.

    Victor Malone, 5-11, 180, Brooksville, Miss. (Noxubee County HS/East Mississippi JC)

  • Midyear juco transfer.
  • Named both All-Conference and All-District in the juco ranks.
  • Played two years at East Mississippi Junior College.
  • Runs a 4.3.
  • Named Most Valuable Defensive Player in high school.
  • Selected the Best Cornerback in the district.
  • Ran track where he was selected Most Improved.

    Stanford Routt, 6-1, 180, Austin, Texas (Connally HS)

  • Was a unanimous First Team All-District pick.
  • Selected Second Team All-District as a junior.
  • Grabbed All-America honors in track and field.
  • Ran the ninth fastest time in the 200 meters as a junior.
  • Was a state qualifier in both the 200 meters and 4 X 400-meter relay team.


    Levi Gaston, 6-1, 180, Houston, Texas (North Shore HS)

  • Named First Team All-District.
  • High school teammate of current Cougars Mark Hopkins and Justin Davis.
  • Helped lead squad to 11-2 finish as a senior.
  • Registered over 80 tackles and had 10 pass break ups.
  • Runs a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash.
  • Participates in track, running the 100, 200 and 400-meters.

    Carlos Jones, 5-10, 190, Houston, Texas (Clear Lake HS)

  • Listed as one of the top safeties in the nation.
  • First Team All-District (unanimous) selection as a linebacker.
  • Also picked up Second Team honors as a running back.
  • Two-time Team MVP.
  • Registered 102 tackles, two interceptions and one blocked punt last season.
  • Also averaged 6.42 yards per carry and scored five touchdowns.
  • Finished career with well over 300 tackles, as well as six INTs, four forced fumbles, seven sacks and five fumble recoveries.
  • Was also First Team linebacker as a junior.

    Tristen Robertson, 6-0, 190, Dallas, Texas (Carter HS)

  • Second Team All-District selection.
  • A member of the Dallas Morning News Area 100.
  • Is a member of the nationally-ranked (eighth) sprint and mile relay squads.

    Terance Williams, 6-1, 185, Houston, Texas (Sterling HS)

  • Two-time Second Team All-District at safety.
  • Recorded 40 tackles and three interceptions.
  • Also played wide receiver and had five touchdown receptions.
  • Runs a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash.


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