Oct. 9, 2012
You won't find a Cougar who knows about transition this season better than Kevin Forsch.
The redshirt junior and offensive lineman from Tomball, Texas grew up with the University of Houston nowhere in site.
"UH wasn't on my radar at all as a kid," Forsch said. "They started recruiting me in high school and when I first started getting letters from them, I thought I didn't want to stay in Houston, to get away and maybe avoid having my mom come knock on my door."
Ironically, Forsch would soon choose to attend the University of Houston, and his mom would play a role in getting him there. However, none of that would have happened without current head coach Tony Levine.
The special teams coordinator at the time, Levine's attention to detail and personal approach stood out to the high school all-star.
"The more letters they sent me, the more I would read, and the things they were saying were really different from other schools which got my attention," remarked Forsch. "It was interesting, so I took my visit here and met all the players. I really liked it and felt like it was a great fit."
Forsch was sold on the Cougar family, and the Houston coaches would quickly be sold on the Forsch family. Levine still talks to Forsch about a visit that some of the Houston coaches made to the Forsch home during the recruiting process.
"We had Levine and a couple of other coaches over to my house for dinner and my mom made these amazing fajitas. Coach Levine still talks about them."
Forsch quickly hit his stride as a Cougar, gaining success early on and off the field. As a finance major he was named to the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll in 2009 and 2010.
On the field, after redshirting his freshman year, Forsch became a presence on special teams and this past season on the offensive line as right guard, starting in all 14 games in the 2011 season.
Hard work paid off for Forsch, yet this season has already brought a whole new chapter in his career.
First, Forsch made the switch from right guard to center.
"When I first started playing it, it was a pretty big transition," Forsch said. Luckily, he had been preparing for this. "They had been getting me ready for it; long-term they saw me there."
Forsch's smarts have helped him in this transition with on-field awareness and pre-snap readiness.
"Knowing what's going on, where the opponent could go and where we are supposed to be targeting and things like that has helped me," Forsch said.
The preseason hype was big; the new center was named to the All-Conference USA Preseason Team. Forsch was ready for the challenge.
However, just as the season was getting started, Forsch suffered an ankle injury in the second game against Louisiana Tech.
"I had never missed a game or have been seriously injured before, so it was something completely new to me and I didn't know what to do," Forsch said.
Due to the expert care of Doc O'Shea and the training staff, Forsch battled through it quickly.
"Doc O'Shea and the entire training staff took great care of me," he said. "I was in there all the time getting treatment and he got me back on the field as soon as possible."
Forsch returned to action in the Bayou Bucket against Rice last weekend and contributed to a phenomenal performance by the offensive line.
Forsch joked about a tradition that the offensive line has with quarterback David Piland. "The deal is, if there were no sacks and no quarterback hits he would grill us hamburgers after the game."
With a season-best zero sacks in the Bayou Bucket--it looks like Piland is going to have to start grilling some burgers.
Forsch still has a year of eligibility to play, but plans on graduating this year. As for his career after the University of Houston, the finance major plans to keep his options open.
"I know there's a lot you can do with that," he said. "I don't have a plan yet. I'm going to see where it takes me."