April 1, 2011
The University of Houston football team had a Friday afternoon session in shorts and shoulder pads as a precursor to its second scrimmage of the spring season, scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. at Carl Lewis Field.
SCRIMMAGE AT CARL LEWIS FIELD: The team will have its second scrimmage of the season tomorrow at 10 a.m. on Carl Lewis Field inside Tellez Outdoor Track. The team will try to get in 80-100 plays from different game-like situations, including red zone and "coming out." The scrimmage is open to the public and is a lead-in to the Red and White Game scheduled for April 9 and is also free admission.
SCHEDULE CHANGE: The University of Houston is one of the host institution for the 2011 NCAA Final Four. With a practice previously scheduled for Mon., April 4, Coach Sumlin has changed the plans for the final week of spring ball. Next week the Cougars will practice at 4 p.m. on Tues., April 5, Wed., April 6 and Thurs., April 7, all leading up to the Red and White Spring Game on Sat., April 9 at 2 p.m.
YOUTH EXPERIENCE: The Houston football team will host the 2011 Cougar Youth Experience on Sat., April 9 immediately following the Red and White Spring Game on John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium. Children aged kindergarten through eighth grade can join the players and coaches for a clinic and autograph session on the field. Admission is free, and pre-registration can be done in advance by calling the Houston football office at 713-743-9388. Children will also be able to register the day of the event.
KIDS CAN PLAY: In addition to the Youth Experience, kids will be able to play in inflatable games in the Cougar Pride Kid Zone from 12-2 p.m. before the spring game on the West side in the Pavilion area.
Each day UHCougars.com will take a look at a specific position group and give fans an outlook for the 2011 season. Today we highlight the cornerbacks.
SPOTLIGHTING THE CORNERBACKS: If you watch the cornerbacks during these spring practices you see talent and youth. No starters return for the 2011 season, so it will be up to newcomers D.J. Hayden and Chevy Bennett to push the competition.
Hayden and Bennett, enrolled in January to get a head start on the learning process after leading Navarro Junior College to a NJCAA National Title in 2010. They had a major impact on the 17th-ranked defense, nationally. Hayden had 58 tackles and three interceptions in two seasons, while Bennett recorded 66 tackles and three picks during the same time.
"We brought in Chevy and D.J. because of their length and their height, which we feel can make us very competitive especially in a league where you see a lot of outside screens and fades," said Stewart. "We are going to be much more competitive in that aspect. We brought them in to be starters.
"They are both picking up the system, now they need to learn the technique associated with each coverage. They have a lot of football sense, but in technique they are a little raw."
Also returning at the position are junior Jeffery Lewis, who moved back to defense after a season at running back, and sophomores Thomas Bates, Zach McMillian, James Jones and Alex Tillman. All but Tillman saw action in 2010 primarily on special teams.