QB Nick Eddy

2002 Statistics

Coach: Art Briles
1st year
2002 Record: 5-7
at Rice WON 24-10
at Texas LOST 11-41
at TCU LOST 17-34
at UAB LOST 34-51
ARMY WON 56-42
at Memphis WON 26-21
at Cincinnati LOST 14-47

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

Optimism has swept through Cougar Land with the hiring of Briles. He has vowed to associate greatness with Houston's program once again. Fortunately, the spread offense has done well before in H-town. The big task is getting the right man to run it. Nick Eddy seems to be primed, but only time will tell. A steady, conditioned receiving corps must emerge and ease Eddy into the system- but he has to cut down on the INTs! Look for the passing game to come along slowly and evolve into one of the better attacks in the country by year's end. But will it take three, five, seven, or more games for this unit to learn its potential and reach it weekly?

The defense needs to bear down and stop somebody, anybody. Allowing 32 points a game (while giving up 270 yards in the air) is not going to win football games. The switch to a 4-3 defense should minimize the time opposing QBs have to throw and give this secondary a bit of a break. The key will be teaching these young kids responsibility. They will start off rocky, but gel, and get better throughout the year.

The schedule starts off easy- and by easy, we mean teams with which UH can certainly hang. They have a brutal road test at Michigan early, but surrounding that are (winnable) home games against Rice and Mississippi State, and one at UL Lafayette. The real test will come in back-to-back home contests with TCU and Southern Miss, who look to be at the top of the C-USA class this season. The Cougs will need this year to break in their receivers and lay the foundation for their new schemes. We see Houston struggling, but learning, while at least hosting some competitive outings… all while preparing for the promising future they know will soon come. They could wind up with a winning record, but development should be their focus, with positive results even if finishing under (or at) .500.

Projected 2003 record: 5-7
DE Farouk Adelekan
QB Nick Eddy
SS Jermain Woodard
WR Vincent Marshall
WR Chad McCullar
QB - 3 DL - 2.5
RB - 2 LB - 2
WR - 2.5 DB - 1.5
OL - 2.5 ..

Passing: Nick Eddy, 265-134-18, 2054 yds., 16 TD

Rushing: Barrick Nealy, 36 att., 190 yds., 2 TD

Receiving: Brandon Middleton, 28 rec., 674 yds., 6 TD

Scoring: Dustin Bell, 12-14 FG, 32-35 PAT, 68 pts.

Punting: Jimmy McClary, 62 punts, 38.9 avg.

Kicking: Dustin Bell, 12-14 FG, 32-35 PAT, 68 pts.

Tackles: Jermain Woodard, 73 tot., 47 solo

Sacks: Farouk Adelekan, 9 sacks

Interceptions: Delenell Reid, 2 for 13 yds.

Kickoff returns: Roshawn Pope, 24 ret., 20.9 avg.

Punt returns: Brandon Middleton, 1 ret., 2.0 avg.


OFFENSE: Joffrey Reynolds-RB, KeyKowa Bell-WR, Chris Redding-OT, Chris Wheeler-OG, Rufus Williams-OT, Brian Robinson-WR
DEFENSE: Adrian Lee-DE, Hanik Milligan-FS, Jesse Sowells-SS, Victor Malone-CB, Ronnie Braxton-WLB, Bryan Hill-DT

written by Tim Chapman

New head coach Art Briles comes over from Texas Tech, bringing with him a wide-open, air-it-out offensive attack. This should please senior QB Nick Eddy, who returns as one of the better passers in CUSA. Eddy is a big guy with a big arm, and he will now be asked to throw the ball nearly forty times a game. He gives the Cougars an experienced gunslinger operating (out of) the shotgun, but must improve his decision-making and deliver with more efficiency (50% comp. pct., 18 INTs). The use of shorter, more proficient passes should do the trick.

The running game looks to improve. Gone is All-Conference rusher Joffrey Reynolds. His replacement, sophomore Anthony Evans, should see a lot more glory in this offense than in previous years. He has a good frame (5'10", 214 lbs) and a good burst, which will help him as a double threat running with and catching the football. Briles is known to utilize his running backs more than most spread-style coaches - last season, Texas Tech's leading receiver was their starting running back! Redshirt freshman, Jackie Battle is a gifted athlete waiting behind Evans.

This offensive line will be a swifter, quicker group than before. Be willing to bet Briles and staff will make these hogs sweat - their conditioning should be strong. Seniors C Al James and OG Rex Hadnot will add experience. They will be joined by athletic OT Mark Mattox, a converted-TE. Soph Roy Swan started a majority of 2002 and offers bulk in the middle. Protecting Eddy will be a major factor for offensive success. Teams will be looking for the short pass, which should allow play-action and draw plays to work well if strategically employed.

The Cougars lost a good amount of talent at the receiver spot and look to rebuild. Senior Brandon Middleton is the only returning WR posing a real threat. He will be joined by a couple of inexperienced guys in Mark Hopkins and Harrison Arceneaux. Both bring size, but neither has shown any type of game-breaking ability yet. They will be expected to do both catching and blocking much more. Soph Johnny Tyson gives them a good fourth receiver off the bench. If one of these guys can become a deep threat, opposing DBs will have a rough time controlling the shorter pass.


C Rex Hadnot


Returning Starters in bold
QB Nick Eddy-Sr (6-4, 250) Blade Bassler-So (6-4, 225)
RB Anthony Evans-So (5-10, 214) Bobby Tillman-Jr (5-11, 210)
SL Vincent Marshall-So (5-8, 160) Harrison Arceneaux-Sr (6-2, 190)
WR Mark Hopkins-Jr (6-4, 208) Leonard Gibson-Fr (6-2, 180)
WR Brandon Middleton-Jr (5-11, 180) Johnny Tyson-So (6-0, 168) / Chad McCullar-So
TE Stephen Cucci-Sr (6-4, 270) Jonathan Pritchett-Sr (6-4, 255)
OT Matt Mattox-Sr (6-4, 270) Phil Hawkins-Jr (6-5, 300)
OG Roy Swan-So (6-2, 315) Willie Thomas-Jr (6-3, 323)
C Rex Hadnot-Sr (6-1, 310) Al James-Sr (6-0, 300)
OG Brandon Evans-Sr (6-4, 310) Abrahim Sameei-So (6-4, 300)
OT David Douglas-So (6-3, 310) John McGilvray-So (6-5, 282)
K Dustin Bell-Jr (6-2, 215) Justin Laird-Fr (6-2, 175)



written by Tim Chapman

New defensive coordinator Ron Harris will shift the alignment from a 4-2-5 to a popular 4-3 setting. The Cougars return four of their front seven- a group that faired pretty well against the run in '02 (134 yards per game). Sophomore DTs Kade Lane and Matthew Bentley make up a strong wall in the middle. Both are adept at plugging holes and thwarting the running game, while ends Kendrick Goss and Ryan Huffman do their part(s) to rush and contain (take away the outside). Huffman is the leader of this group and should have an impact senior year. His stature alone makes him dangerous, but his tenacity and quickness make him even better. Keep an eye out for senior DE Farouk Adelekan - he could be a monster after racking up nine 2002 sacks (as a rotating end).

Briles promised an improvement on defense this year- Cougar fans sure hope so. UH gave up 32 points a game last year and squandered way too many leads. If the defense is to improve, it will be upon the back seven to step up. The linebackers will play more of a factor this year than in seasons past. Seniors Justin Davis and Damien West are two, strong 'backers who can hit; their problem was consistency. West can be relied upon to be a plug in the middle, but Davis has yet to establish himself as a warden in the back seven. His strength comes in stuffing the run, but needs to improve his pass defense. The other position will be a toss-up between soph Bryant Brown and junior Matt Schirmer. Schirmer had a good season a year ago and appears to be the better fit at outside backer, but coaches like Brown's overall speed.

The secondary is the biggest area of concern. They lost all-conference performer Hanik Milligan and will be trying to stack a weak secondary with a bare cupboard. They will need junior Jermain Woodard to take charge. Woodard is an active safety who plays with the mentality of a linebacker, which ironically explains his 'weak' safety position. But he must improve his pass defense and do a better job of reading his keys in order to bring a better air defense to this now 4-deep backfield employment.

He certainly can't do it alone though. The Cougs will have four competent corners that look to figure into the mix and bring gads of speed. The concern is sticking to assignments. Young, inexperienced corners tend to play on emotion, and that's something any defense can't afford. This bunch should stick as the year goes on - they will get better, but they must weather the early storms and create TOs if they expect to get anywhere.


DB Jermain Woodard


Returning Starters in bold
DE Kendrick Goss-Jr (6-4, 270) Matthew Bentley-So (6-2, 270)
DT Kade Lane-So (6-2, 255) Sharod McGowan-So (6-2, 280)
DT Gerard Richard-So (6-3, 300) Jessie Bryant-So (6-3, 300)
DE Farouk Adelekan-Sr (6-2, 272) Ryan Huffman-Sr (6-6, 275)
SLB Justin Davis-Sr (6-2, 232) Travis Griffith-Jr (6-4, 240)
MLB Damien West-Sr (6-2, 245) Lance Everson-Jr (6-2, 230)
BLB Bryant Brown-So (6-2, 220) Tristen Robertson-So (6-1, 210)
CB Roland Cola-Sr (5-10, 180) Delenell Reid-Sr (5-10, 180)
CB Stanford Routt-Jr (6-1, 185) Courtney Sterling-So (5-8, 170)
SS Jermain Woodard-Sr (6-0, 205) Chad Davis-Sr (5-11, 195)
FS Will Gulley-So (6-4, 195) Brian Hodges-Jr (6-0, 200)
P Jimmy McClary-Sr (6-6, 222) Teddy Tanner-Jr (6-2, 200)




Junior kicker Dustin Bell will pay big dividends this year, after hitting on 12-of-14 FGAs. He is deadly within 50 yards, missing only once (6-of-7 between 40 and 50). The punting worries are put to rest by senior Jimmy McClary. McClary, who averaged 39 yards per kick, handles his kicks with precision, as 21 (of 54) were either downed inside the 20 or fair caught. Soph RoShawn Pope is a burner in the return game. Depth on defense will allow coverage teams to develop fledging players with something to prove.


This offense will be wide open- in every sense of the word. The playbook will consist primarily of passing formations, but we could see some option (possibly even triple option) in the works as well… The QB situation has been quite a roller coaster. Coaches adored the three guys they had in their pouch, but that number may be trimmed down to one. Backup QB Barrick Nealy has decided to transfer to SW Texas State (IAA). He sat out the spring to nurse an injury and in his absence, Eddy and (now backup) Blade Bassler emerged. Eddy, however, might be in some academic limbo and could miss the entire season to concentrate on grades. Bassler brings a good arm and fleet set of feet… Projected starting TE Jon Clark decided to transfer back to his home state of Utah, leaving the top job to All-CUSA candidate, Stephen Cucci. Clark's loss was absolved by the reinstatement of sixth year senior Jonathan Pritchett… Don't be shocked to see incoming freshmen Bennie Swain and Donnie Avery in the line of duty at WR by mid-season… The Cougars will make use of a "Utility Back" (UB) this year. The player who fit that role this spring was Shang Moore. When he's in, you'll see him running, receiving, and even passing… Freshmen lineman Beau Tuft, Dustin Dickinson, and Jeff Akeroyd are said to be the future of the Cougar line and will get many reps in practice. If needed, the redshirts may be taken off.

DE Farouk Adelekan may have been the most under appreciated defender in the conference in 2002. He tallied nine sacks last season, rotating in at defensive end and led the team in that category. Teams (both in and out of conference) and fans will get to know him real well this year… LB Matt Schirmer was switched to fullback during spring drills. Filling his role is sophomore Tristen Robertson, who moves up from the secondary… Jermain Woodard has already accepted his role as leader of this defense by turning out a terrific spring. Joining him back there is sophomore Will Gulley, who had some jaw-dropping moments this spring, helping elevate him to the top spot at FS. As good as he was though, coaches are hoping Oklahoma transfer Brian Hodges will challenge him for the top nod. Hodges has suffered through concussion problems, but is a devastating hitter when he's healthy… The Cougars have a healthy supply of CBs on their roster, with five who can supply valuable time between the stripes. One who turned some heads this spring is Arizona State transfer Courtney Sterling.

The kick return game should feature Chad McCullar and RoShawn Pope, and Willie Gaston could get some touches as well. Pope and Gaston are the top men (respectively) for punt returns. The kicking game should run smoothly this season, as their snapper returns along with their kicker and punter.