Houston Cougars football coach Dana Holgorsen on Derek Parish: ‘I would want him on my team’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Eric Christian Smith/AP/Shutterstock (13405252a) Houston defensive lineman Derek Parish (0) is blocked by Kansas offensive lineman Earl Bostick Jr. during the first half of an NCAA college football game, in Houston Kansas Football, Houston, United States – 17 Sep 2022

Houston Cougars football coach Dana Holgorsen on Derek Parish: ‘I would want him on my team’

The NFL Draft is less than a month away, and there are several Houston Cougars football players hoping to get their name called at some point during the three-day event in Kansas City, Missouri.

One of those UH Cougars is Derek Parish. During Houston’s pro day last Thursday, head coach Dana Holgorsen had high praise for his defensive lineman.

“I don’t care what you play him as I would want him on my team,” Holgorsen told reporters in a scrum.

Holgorsen also said he wished he could have played Parish on offense more as a fullback or tight end, but he was just too good on defense as a pass rusher impacting games to risk his health.

Parish was on pace for a strong senior season in 2022 before suffering a season-ending torn bicep injury.

The highlight of his year came in week two against Texas Tech. Parish recorded 10 total tackles and had an absurd 4½ sacks and 6½ tackles for loss, both of which broke American Athletic Conference records.

The Pearland native ended the season with five sacks and 19 total tackles in four games. He played the entire year with a cast on his right hand after breaking his finger during a practice.

At Houston’s pro day, Parish measured 6 feet and weighed 241 pounds. His hand size was 9.5 inches, and his wingspan was 73.625 inches.

Parish had a 37-inch vertical and bench-pressed 27 reps at the event, edging out fellow defensive lineman D’Anthony Jones’s 23 reps. Parish also ran a 4.56 in Houston’s 40-yard dash.

While Parish’s role on an NFL team isn’t as clear as it was for Houston, Holgorsen believes his impact from an off-the-field perspective alone is worth having on a roster.

“I would want that human being on my team,” Holgorsen said. “I would want that locker room presence. I would want that work ethic. I would want that teammate aspect of Derek Parish. The hardworking aspect of Derek Parish. The practice player of Derek Parish.

“The production is going to come. What position you put him at, I don’t care. Let’s fight over it, but I would draft him because I would want him on my team,” he added.

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