All about numbers: a look at how Dana Holgorsen, Houston Cougars staff approach recruiting

Sep 30, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars head coach Dana Holgorsen looks on prior to the start of the game against the Tulane Green Wave at TDECU Stadium in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

All about numbers: a look at how Dana Holgorsen, Houston Cougars staff approach recruiting

With the Houston Cougars and the rest of the college football world on the eve of the second transfer window opening, UH is seeking to fill 11 spots for the 2023 season, head coach Dana Holgorsen said Monday.

Houston will be looking to add depth at multiple positions once the second transfer period begins on Saturday. It will remain open until April 30. The top priority will be on the offensive line. The Cougars want to add five more players across the various line positions, Holgorsen said.

“There is still a lot of work to do to get the roster … to what it is going to look like in 2023,” Holgorsen said.

While there are different ways to approach recruiting, Holgorsen and his staff base it on numbers.

“It’s not about what we feel like we need, it’s about filling the spots,” Holgorsen stated. “Each position has a certain amount that they can get up to and that is our job in recruiting.”

Every group for the Cougars has a number next to it that lets the staff know how many more scholarship players they need for a specific position, Holgorsen said.

For example, the quarterback position’s number for the Cougars is four, the head coach said. That means Holgorsen and his staff want four scholarship players in that position. Currently, Houston only has Lucas Coley and Donovan Smith as quarterbacks under scholarship.

Caleb McMickle, a three-star recruit coming out of Fellowship Christian School in Roswell, Georgia, will join the Cougars on June 1. So, Houston is seeking to add one more scholarship quarterback through the portal, he stated.

“We got to do what we can to fill those numbers,” Holgorsen said. “We got two on scholarship right now. We are bringing in a third [in] Caleb. We’d like to bring in a fourth quarterback. Whatever that number is, [is] what we are always going to be able to try to find.”

With the offensive line group, Houston’s magic number is 16, Holgorsen told reporters.

UH lost linemen Cam’Ron Johnson and Trevonte Sylvester over the spring. Both announced they were going to be leaving the program to transfer elsewhere in March. Johnson started all 13 games at left guard for the Cougars in 2022.

“We need to add some bodies up there,” said Holgorsen about the line.

Because of the transfer portal, recruiting has turned into a 365-day cycle, Holgorsen said.

While the 2023 class will be done June 1 due to rules and deadlines, coaching staffs across the nation now not only have to be wary of future high school prospects but also potential transfers all while staying engaged with the current players to see where their minds are at.

“There is going to be a lot of work from me staring at this sheet trying to get the roster right,” Holgorsen said. “Recruiting non-stop all year long. Our coaches are all about to go out on the road and do spring recruiting and stuff for 2024 and 2025, but then, we got to come back periodically to host visits for 2023. I’ve never had to do that.”

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