Quest for C-USA Crown Begins for Cougars

Aug. 10, 2001

HOUSTON, Texas---For the first time since fall preseason camp began on Sunday, the entire University of Houston squad practiced as a unit, running through vigorous workouts in the hot Texas sun today.

With his whole squad participating, UH head coach Dana Dimel had his first full look at the 2001 team. Even though it is only the first week of fall practice, Dimel ran his team through an informational first practice.

"We got a lot of work in today," said Dimel. "We tried to start off with the offense basically where we left off (last spring), and so the defense had a better day today. That is just like anything. You hope your defense is a little ahead of your offense at this time."

The Cougars only return five starters on defense, but four of them reside in the secondary. Senior Jason Parker will be a four-year starter for the Cougars at cornerback, and he is joined in the defensive backfield by senior Hamin Milligan, junior Hanik Milligan and sophomore Heard Robinson--the trifecta who hold down the three safety slots in the UH 4-2-5 defensive scheme.

"I thought our defense had an outstanding first day. You can see some of the experience in the secondary, and they played really well. This will be the strength of our defense, and all of them lead by example on the field."

Dimel mentioned the Cougars would concentrate on narrowing the repetitions for the entire squad, as he looks to see who will be the starters and key backups heading into the season opener versus Rice on September 1.

"(Narrowing the repetitions) is not an easy process right now," commented Dimel. "We are trying to see who the quarterbacks are going to be (and) getting those guys the amount of reps that they need to get. We are also trying to figure out who our running back are and narrowing down their repetitions as well."

Individually, Dimel singled out junior defensive ends Quantaa Jackson and Adrian Lee and true freshman Stanford Routt as having had an outstanding first workout. On offense Dimel was impressed with the performance of true freshman Anthony Evans at running back.

"Anthony Evans had a really good practice," added Dimel, "which was nice. He really did some good things, and this could give us a fourth running back just depending on what we do as time wears on."

Dimel also reported that redshirt freshman Travis Griffith, a linebacker from Huffman, Texas, is likely lost for the season after suffering a severe knee injury early in the morning workout. The complete results of his injury will be released at a later date.

The Cougars continue their annual two-a-days with 9:30 a.m. and 4:50 p.m. practices tomorrow morning. UH is slated to hold its first scrimmage on Tuesday, August 14, at Robertson Stadium.




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