Houston conducted walk on tryouts yesterday at 7am for players hoping to earn a roster spot.
The Cougars have had a strong walk on tradition as of recent. Former walk on Patrick Edwards put up some gaudy numbers last season, hauling in 89 catches (15th nationally) for 1,752 yards (2nd nationally) and 20 touchdowns (1st nationally).
Defensive graduate assistant Matt Nicholson helped lead some of the drills and weighed in on the types of things that they're looking for.
Tim Beckman has instituted a rule called "Illini time" where players are required to be 10 minutes early for all team events and classes.
To stress the importance of the small details, like "Illini time", Beckman and the staff have instituted a club called "All-in-One" where players and coaches who qualify receive a gourmet meal during quarterly banquets. The first meal of the year was steak and eggs, and homemade cinnamon buns.
When recruiting the Atlanta area this past season, Franklin was able to hit two highly touted high school games to see recruits play by taking a helicopter and hopping from game to game.
“For us, it was more about trying to get as much work done in a limited amount of time, I’ve done this at other schools I’ve coached at. For us to go to two high-profile games in the Atlanta area with traffic and things like that, it makes it difficult to do. So the helicopter afforded us the opportunity to go ahead and do that.” Franklin said.
Franklin was able to see half of one high profile game, and hop in the chopper to catch half of the other game.
"Without a helicopter, it’s hard to do something like that. That was the main reason for us to do that. It was for me to be able to maximize my time and see as many prospects as I could possibly could.” he added.
A few weeks ago, we showed you footage of Toledo's MMA like cage...come to find out, that's just the tip of the iceberg of the combat drills.
Taking a look at their newest winter workout video, its evident that new head coach Matt Campbell and the staff are putting an emphasis on competitive-combative (and very physical) head to head type drills.
Keeping with the military like theme, there's some good footage of players army crawling through a sand pit to a medicine ball at about the 45 second mark.