Cougars Wrap Up First Week

HOUSTON, Texas---With the clouds breaking but the humidity rising, the University of Houston Cougars completed their first week of spring practice today on the practice fields behind the UH Athletic Complex.

After five practices UH head coach Dana Dimel is enjoying the progress his team is making during the vital spring practice period.

"Through the first week we've thrown everything in our offense," said Dimel, "which is very good. The purpose behind this is to bank the (repetitions) and get everything installed, so when we come back here in the fall all the terminology and the reps are banked, so our football team can understand what we are trying to accomplish.

"Today with the heat, it was a little bit harder on our team. We've had some good, long practices, and we've been getting a lot of work in. When we do scrimmage, we try to do it at the end of practice. We want them to go hard, finish and do things at the end of the practice."

Dimel is extremely pleased with the production of his two quarterbacks, Kelly Robertson and Alvin Lee, and the second-year coach also is excited about the battle at running back between senior Leif Penn and juniors Joffrey Reynolds and Chris Robertson. Offensive line also is receiving high marks, and the wide receiver corps-which is considered one of the top 10 in the nation for 2001-is completely healthy after injuries robbed the Cougars of senior Orlando Iglesias, junior Jeremy McCardell and sophomore Brandon Middleton in 2000.

Defensively, Dimel is hoping a lot of the younger players will step it up this spring.

"We feel really comfortable with the secondary," added Dimel. "The linebacker crew is just young and learning all the time. (And) the defensive line, we are trying to battle some minor injuries, so we are learning where are depth is coming from."

The Cougars will take Thursday off before returning to the practice fields on Friday, April 6, with an afternoon workout in half pads. Houston is scheduled for its second spring scrimmage on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. at John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium.



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