As the Houston Cougars prepare to play their first season in the American Athletic Conference (né the Big East), they’ll need to recover from the loss of 2012’s top receiver.
According to the Houston Chronicle, wideout Dewayne Peace was ruled academically ineligible and is no longer with the team. Peace led the Cougars with 54 catches and 603 yards.
This has been a tough offseason for head coach Tony Levine, who also lost leading rusher Charles Sims. Sims originally declared he was returning for his senior season, only to depart the Cougar program after getting his degree. His future is a little murky, as he could enter the NFL supplemental draft or transfer to a different school (Texas Tech has been rumored).
While the Cougars may have some trouble replacing Sims (who also caught 37 passes last season in addition to his 851 yards rushing), there are some quality options on the receiver depth chart.
Perhaps helping out most of all will be the return of junior quarterback David Piland, who threw for 16 touchdowns and nearly 3,000 yards last year in the first season post-Kevin Sumlin/Case Keenum. Sophomore Deontay Greenberrry was a top recruit who switched to Houston from Notre Dame on signing day, while 2012’s second-leading receiver, Daniel Spencer, is also back. Rounding out the returning options at the position are Larry McDuffey (28 catches and 3 touchdowns) and Xavier Maxwell (2 touchdowns and a 17.9 yards per catch average, which led the team).
Another potential salve for the loss of Pease is Markeith Ambles, the former five-star recruit and USC Trojan who transferred to Houston from Arizona Western in April.
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