Nov 19, 2022; Greenville, North Carolina, USA; Houston Cougars wide receiver Matthew Golden (10) runs with the ball after his catch East Carolina Pirates during the first half at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Cougars football receivers could be one of ‘most talented groups’ Dana Holgorsen has ever seen
There are multiple question marks across the Houston Cougars football roster as it inches closer to its inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference.
With 11 spots still needing to be filled by June 1, head coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff will embark on the recruiting trail over the next few weeks to complete the 2023 roster. One position group they will not have to worry about is the receivers.
Headlined by returning players Matthew Golden, Samuel Brown, and Joseph Manjack, Houston also added new faces to the group in the spring, including Fort Bend Marshall standout Ja’koby Banks and Wyoming transfer Joshua Cobbs.
The Cougars will also welcome Mikal Harrison-Pilot and Jonah Wilson on June 1, both of whom are highly touted recruits coming out of high school.
“That room is shaping up to be one of the most talented groups that I have ever coached, and I have coached a lot of guys that have been really productive and played for a long time,” Holgorsen said on Monday.
The competition among the receivers throughout the spring impressed Holgorsen. He said the talent in the room is so high he’s not sure if there will be a “go-to guy” as the team had last season with Nathaniel “Tank” Dell.
If someone had to be picked to be the go-to guy, Holgorsen said it could be Golden, but it is still too early to call after just 15 spring sessions.
“Matthew Golden, he’s been balling. Manjack, they’ve all been balling,” Houston quarterback Donovan Smith said.
Smith is in a competitive battle with Lucas Coley for the starting spot at quarterback.
Manjack had a great spring, Brown had a great spring, senior Payton Sawyer had a good spring, and Oklahoma State transfer Stephon “Boogie” Johnson flashed, Holgorsen stated.
As for the new faces, Cobbs is big and is only going to continue to get better, the head coach said. Banks and sophomore CJ Nelson are improving with each rep, Holgorsen added.
“It is turning into a fun group to coach, and those guys are going to have to work hard and compete, not only for being a starter but playing time in general and for productivity as well,” Holgorsen said.