As the Houston Cougars prepare to join the ranks of the Big East/American Athletic Conference in 2013, they will need to find some playmakers to help ease their transition into the higher level of play. During the spring, they figured it would be running back Charles Sims leading them, but his departure has flipped the script. Now, the deep and talented receiving corps will have to live up to their potential and lead the Houston offense in 2013.
Coming out of spring practices, Houston appeared to have the luxury of three returning receivers with 40 catches or more coming back. That experience took a hit, however, when leading receiver from 2012 Dewayne Peace was ruled academically ineligible and withdrew from school. He caught 54 passes for 603 yards and two touchdowns in just nine games as he served a three-game suspension for violating team rules.
But the impact of his departure could be minimal. During the spring, Peace wasn’t even running with the No. 1 offense, a testament to the depth of talent Houston has at receiver. Daniel Spencer looks to step up into a leadership role and build off his 41-catch, 579-yard, three-touchdown sophomore performance in 2012. He will be joined by the dynamic Deontay Greenberry, who hauled in 47 passes for 569 yards and three touchdowns and was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team for his efforts.
Houston will also welcome a talented pass catcher via transfer this fall. Former four-star recruit and USC Trojans receiver Markeith Ambles will join the mix in 2013 for Houston. Off-field issues undermined Ambles at USC and he finished his one season in Los Angeles with just one catch for three yards. He spent last season at the junior college level, catching 44 passes for 757 yards and six touchdowns at Arizona Western.
While Houston has had to watch both their leading rusher and receiver from 2012 leave the program, the Houston offense will find a way to muscle on thanks to the incredible depth of talent the Cougars enjoy at wide receiver.