April 10, 2012
Houston, Texas - Houston Football finished its final spring practice in full pads on Tuesday as the Cougars went through another spirited two-hour workout on the practice fields behind the Athletics Alumni Center.
Earlier in the day Head Coach Tony Levine announced that David Piland would be his starter at quarterback and the depth chart seems to be taking shape before Friday night's Red & White Game (7 p.m. at Robertson Stadium).
"We will have most of those blanks filled out but there will still be a few spots that are left open," Levine said during Tuesday's press conference. "We had a few guys who have been bothered by injuries, and (others) just have not performed up to their potential this spring. We have had guys in our program the past few years that have came to spring practice and showed us what they can do as well. We will also have some newcomers this fall that will also have the opportunity to move in."
Two of those players that have made the most of their early opportunities have been at the safety position, with both Chris Cermin and Jeffery Lewis earning playing time. Cermin has made critical plays all spring and Lewis has shown great coverage ability down the middle of the field.
Another player continuing to work his way up the chart on Tuesday was former quarterback Aaron Johnson. Johnson showed steady hands and made a number of catches from both Piland and Bram Kohlhausen and could challenge for extended time this fall at the X-receiver position.
Piland once again performed well, and showed a great ability to spread the football around. He fired an impressive 15-yard out pass to Dewayne Peace in 7-on-7 and seems to have a good connection with senior wideout Ronnie Williams. Piland seemed to find his rhythm early on Tuesday and was locked in for most of Tuesday's practice.
Defensively Houston got solid productivity from George Bamfo, who broke up a pair of passes in coverage from his linebacker position, as well as a key pass breakup from Bates in third-down coverage down the field. The defense impressed in 7-on-7 drills and picked up a huge shutout in reps against the first and second-string offenses to cap the day. Bamfo (sack) and Stewart (PBU) each recorded big plays preserving the final-period shutout.
UH did produce a pair of big plays on the ground earlier in the afternoon however. Braxton Welford ripped off a 60-yard TD run and Kenneth Farrow broke free up the middle for a big gainer. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder certainly runs with authority and will be a great complement alongside Welford and incumbent starter Charles Sims this fall.
Houston returns to the practice fields on Thursday and will host its Red & White Scrimmage on Friday at 7 p.m. Admission to the scrimmage is free.
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### GO COOGS ###