The Houston Cougars enter the 2022 season off the heels of a 12-2 season and a American Athletic Conference championship appearance (Courtesy Houston Athletics)
Photo courtesy Houston Athletics
Two Houston Cougars football freshmen to watch in 2022
The 2022 college football season is fast approaching and the Houston Cougars are itching for the opener against the UTSA Roadrunners.
Coming off the heels of a 12-2 campaign in 2021, the Cougars have high expectations for the new season. In order to reach and excel last year’s mark, they will need to get contributions from new playmakers.
While head coach Dana Holgorsen has kept some rotational spots close to the vest, both he and the players have given nuggets of praise throughout camp. In particular, there are two freshmen that UH fans should keep an eye on heading into 2022.
Matthew Golden – freshman wide receiver
High on the list of players that has garnered admiration from his peers during camp is the 190-pound receiver out of Klein Cain High School.
Right out the gates during American Athletic Conference media day, star receiver Nathaniel “Tank” Dell gave high praise to the young receiver. He said Golden is special and that people are going to see a lot from him. He capped off the high praise by saying Golden could be the next great UH receiver.
In August, Holgorsen followed the praise from Dell by saying Golden had the best spring among the Cougars’ receivers. He then doubled down by saying Golden would be the starting Z receiver if the season started right then during the early August session. While rotations are never guaranteed, Holgorsen also raved about Golden’s ability to return kicks.
Another receiver to keep an eye on will be Southern California transfer Joseph Manjack IV, who has also garnered high praise from the head coach.
Jalen Emery – redshirt freshman defensive back
On the defensive side, the Shadow Creek High School product has been the one to collect praise from his coaches.
Defensive coordinator Doug Belk called the young player a spark plug, and linebackers coach Archie McDaniel said he is going to spend time at corner during 2022, a position UH is looking for new playmakers with the losses of seniors Marcus Jones and Damarion Williams.
Emery was rated a three-star prospect coming out of high school by 247 Sports. Fellow defensive back Gervarrius Owens also said Emery is a player to watch during the new season.