Thursday, February 7, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 88



Pope answers Cougar prayers

By Christian Schmidt
Daily Cougar Staff

The UH football team signed a class of 25 recruits yesterday.

Last year's class at UH was rated as the best in Conference USA, and this year's class will likely be top-rated again.

The offensive players in the class are high school quarterback Shang Moore, running back Jackie Battle, wide receivers Leonard Gibson,
Chad McCullar and RoShawn Pope and offensive linemen Jeremy Davis and Blake Garrison; and junior college players Jon Clark and Matt
Mattox (tight ends) and Philip Hawkins and Josh Veal (offensive linemen).

On the defensive side of the ball are high school players defensive linemen Matthew Bentley, L.C. Kirkpatrick, Kade Lane, Albert Martinez,
Gerard Richard and Josh Szepieniec, cornerback Willie Gaston and safeties Tyson Davis and Will Gulley and punter/kicker Justin Laird; and
junior college recruits defensive linemen Farouk Adelekan, Patrick Howard and Ryan Huffman and cornerback Delenell Reid.

"This year we focused on the beef," head coach Dana Dimel. "We wanted to get offensive linemen, defensive linemen.

"Anybody can recruit wide receivers," he added. "It's on the lines that you make a difference."

Heading the class is Roshawn Pope, a quarterback from Ball High School in Galveston, whom the Cougars may move to wide receiver or
cornerback. Pope had previously given a verbal commitment to Alabama, but reconsidered and signed with UH.

"We were extremely shocked," Dimel said. "At 7:30 (a.m.), he (Pope) hadn't made a decision. It didn't look good for him."

But Pope did decide to sign with the Cougars, and he has the potential to be a star for Houston.

This year's new recruits, as well as those players who were redshirted last fall, will be crucial to the success of the Cougars over the next
several years.

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