Houston football may no longer have Tom Herman building it into a legitimate college football power. However, the Cougars can still add talent at a Power Five level.
This off-season, Major Applewhite's staff has had a remarkable level of success bringing in immediately eligible players from Power programs. The latest is Notre Dame cornerback Nick Watkins.
The Texas native and former four-star recruit announced his departure from South Bend back in April. On Thursday, he committed to Houston.
Nick Watkins spoke to 247Sports about that decision:
“It was more of a business decision in terms of what can happen for me after football,” said Watkins, who has one year of eligibility remaining. “Graduating from Notre Dame, that gives me connections everywhere, but for me going to Houston, I figured that it would be great to have connections in Dallas, Houston and the surrounding areas. They are also winning on the field and I could play alongside a projected Top 10 pick and if things go as expected, that’ll bring a lot of exposure to all of us on that side of the ball. I’m really looking forward to it.”
That top 10 pick is defensive tackle Ed Oliver, a former five-star who spurned a number of the nation's elite programs to play for Herman with his hometown Cougars. He has stuck around for two years after Herman's departure, but was one of the best defensive tackles in college football from the time he stepped on campus.
Watkins is far from the only big addition to the Cougars roster this off-season. In fact, five other players from power Power Five teams have joined up and will play this fall.
One of the most highly publicized additions is former Ole Miss safety Deontay Anderson. He looked at a few schools, including former teammate Shea Patterson's new home at Michigan, but ultimately elected to play for the Cougars, where he will be eligible right away.
Former Tennessee quarterback Quinten Dormady is now a Cougar. The former four-star signal caller appeared in 16 games for the Vols, including five starts last season.
Miami linebacker Darrion Owens, Utah receiver Raelon Singleton, and Baylor running back Terence Williams have also joined the Houston program. Impressively, Houston is adding players from ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC programs, as well as Notre Dame.