April 30, 2012
Houston, Texas -
Houston Football had seven players sign National Football League free agent contracts over the weekend, including quarterback Case Keenum and defensive tackle David Hunter who will sign with the hometown Houston Texans.
Keenum and Hunter were two of seven former Cougars to sign with organizations to continue their careers. Record-breaking wide receiver Patrick Edwards has signed with Detroit while Sammy Brown has signed with St. Louis. Marcus McGraw and Michael Hayes will head west to begin their careers with McGraw signing with Arizona and Hayes inking with San Diego. Bryce Beall is the most recent Cougar to sign, joining the Dallas Cowboys.
The 2011 Sammy Baugh Award winner, Keenum broke virtually every passing record in college football over his tenure with Houston, including career marks for completions (1,546), yardage (19,217), touchdown throws (155), total touchdowns (178), total offense (20,114) and 300-yard passing games (39). Keenum and the Houston led the country in total offense last season as he threw for 5,631 yards and 48 TDs, including 532 yards and three scores in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl win over Penn State. The Abilene, Texas, native finished his tenure as the only player in NCAA history to top 19,000 passing yards and he directed his club to a record 13 wins, tops in the country last season.
Hunter played in all-14 games as a senior and was a mainstay along the front of an improved Houston defense. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound tackle totaled 39 stops as a senior, including five behind the line of scrimmage. He finished his career with 22.5 tackles-for-loss, including seven sacks.
Edwards, a Third Team All-American, was one of college football's most productive receivers during his tenure at Houston. The 5-foot-9 speedster finished with 282 receptions for 4,471 yards and 43 scores. The Hearne, Texas, native ranked among college football's Top 15 last season in TD grabs (1st with 20), receiving yards (2nd with 1,752), yards per catch (6th at 19.7) and receptions (15th with 89). He also ranked among college football's leaders over the last decade with his 43 TDs (No. 4) and 4,471 yards receiving (No. 2).
Brown led the country in tackles-for-loss last season and earned Third Team All-America accolades after accumulating 93 total tackles, 30 tackles-for-loss and 13.5 sacks. Despite playing just two seasons Brown ranks among Houston's career Top 10 in sacks (6th with 21) and TFLs (4th with 50). He had a career high three sacks in the win over SMU and earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors with three sacks, 4.5 tackles-for-loss and 10 total stops.
McGraw finished his career as Houston's all-time leading tackler. The Arlington, Texas, native had 510 career stops to go with 37 career tackles-for-loss. He topped 100 tackles all four seasons as a starter, including 141 stops and 14.5 tackles-for-loss in 2011.
Hayes played two seasons for the Cougars and led the club with 11 rushing touchdowns in 2011. The 5-foot-9, 200-pounder rushed for 1,356 yards in two years with 19 rushing scores. He also caught 74 passes in two years for 810 yards and six touchdowns. The versatile performer will also be an asset on special teams and had five stops on special teams a year ago.
Beall was the most recent Cougar to sign a free agent deal, joining the Dallas Cowboys. Beall battled an injury as a senior but showed great toughness playing in 11 games while finishing his spectacular career with 3,098 yards rushing and 39 rushing scores. The versatile back added 87 career receptions as well, netting 1,004 yards and seven TDs. The 3,098 career rushing yards is third all-time in school history and he is No. 1 all-time at Houston with 39 rushing scores.
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