Houston Spring Football Update #4
March 26, 2012
Houston, Texas - March 26, 2012 Photo Gallery
Practice 4 Update - March 26, 2012
As Cougar fans know, Houston is making the move back to the 4-3 in 2012 and while Houston ran a 3-4 scheme last season, much of the team's pass rush was generated by linebacker Sammy Brown who lined up frequently on the line of scrimmage, simulating a even front.
The defense did an excellent job of generating a pass rush on Monday, including new defensive line participant Jon Witten, who added yet another sack this spring. A converted linebacker, Whitten has good size with his 6-foot-2, 230-pound frame and brings excellent speed off the edge.
A Spring Look At The Linebackers:
Key impact players return at every level of the "D", including at linebacker where Freshman All-American Derrick Mathews, who finished second on the club in tackles (106) a season ago, and Phillip Steward, who led all linebackers nationally with six interceptions, lead a talented grouping which will be mentored again this season by Bryant.
Bryant came to UH after serving as the defensive coordinator at Vanderbilt and was promoted this off-season after the defense finished as one of the country's most improved in scoring defense. While competition will be fierce for that third spot, Efrem Oliphant will be back in 2012 after missing his sophomore season due to injury. Oliphant brings great size (6-foot-2, 228 pounds) to the linebacking corps and had 66 total tackles as a freshman starter in 2010.
Competing with Oliphant will be Everett Daniels, an aggressive middle linebacker that had 38 tackles and 3.5 tackles-for-loss last season. The Cougars will also look for speed on the edge and George Bamfo, Austin Wilson and William Moore will compete with Mathews and Steward to provide both depth and pass-rushing ability from a team that had 31 sacks and 108 TFLs in 2011.