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Four Houston Cougars Players Drafted into the NFL

Four former Houston Cougars players were drafted into the NFL this weekend. Their dream of playing pro football is a reality as they join their new teams and await training camp.

Houston Cougars Players Drafted into the NFL

WR Nathaniel “Tank” Dell (3rd Round, pick #69 to the Houston Texans):

Dell arrived in Houston in 2020 by way of Alabama A&M and Independence Community College. As soon as he stepped on the field in Houston, he produced immediately. He caught 29 passes for 428 yards and 3 touchdowns.

In 2021, Dell caught 90 balls for 1329 yards and 12 TDs on his way to being named All-AAC.

Tank Dell Selected in 3rd Round of NFL Draft by the Houston Texans
Houston Cougars WR Tank Dell/Image Credit: uhcougars.com

Last season, Dell ranked 2nd in the FBS in receiving yards per game with 107. He caught a whopping 109 passes for 1398 yards and 17 touchdowns, averaging 12.83 yards per catch. He again was named All-AAC and he also was named 3rd Team All-American by the Associated Press (AP).

Dell recorded six games of over 100 yards receiving. He also posted six games with two receiving touchdowns, including three in a row in wins over Navy and South Florida and a loss to SMU.

Against Tulsa, Dell caught nine passes for 161 yards and a score and ran a punt back 68 yards for another score.

For his collegiate career with the Cougars, Dell gained 3155 receiving yards and scored 32 receiving touchdowns on 228 catches.

QB Clayton Tune (5th Round, pick #139 to the Arizona Cardinals):

Tune is the first University of Houston signal-caller to be drafted since Kevin Kolb way back in 2007. At 6-3, 220 pounds, Tune has good size and can throw it all over the field. That should give the Cardinals coaching staff some peace of mind just in case the diminutive Kyler Murray is unable to go.

QB Clayton Tune Was Selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2023 NFL Draft
QB Clayton Tune-University of Houston/Image Credit: uhcougars.com

In 2022, Tune passed for over 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns, with only 10 INTs. He ranked #5 in the FBS with 313 passing yards per game. His 40 TDs ranked 3rd in the country. Tune completed 67% of his passes.

He posted five games of over 300 yards passing, including:

  • 527 yards, 7 TDs, 3 INTs in the 77-63 loss to SMU.
  • 435 yards, 4 TDs, and 1 INT in a 42-3 win over East Carolina.

Tune recorded four games with 3 passing touchdowns; 2 games with four passing TDs, and 1 game with five touchdowns through the air.

He earned 1st Team All-AAC honors in 2022.

In his career, Tune threw 104 TD passes, good enough for 2nd all-time in school history. His 956 completions rank 3rd in the school record books. And, he passed for over 11,000 yards.

S Gervarrius Owens (7th Round, pick# 254 to the New York Giants):

Owens was a team captain on the Cougar defense and was named 2nd Team All-AAC.

In 12 games, he posted 74 tackles and eight pass breakups, both of which were 2nd on the team. He played 584 defensive snaps at free safety.

S Gervarrius Owens-University of Houston was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2023 NFL Draft
S Gervarrius Owens-Houston Cougars/Image Credit: uhcougars.com

In addition, he forced 2 fumbles, picked off a pass, and recovered a fumble.

Owens racked up 195 total tackles in his career with the Cougars.

Edge Rusher Derek Parish (7th Round, pick #240 to the Jacksonville Jaguars):

Another team captain for the Cougars, Parish only played in four games in 2022. He suffered a season-ending injury on September 24th vs Rice.

Houston Cougars Edge Rusher Derek Parish was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2023 NFL Draft
Edge Rusher Derek Parish-Houston Cougars/Image Credit: uhcougars.com

However, he made the best of a bad situation, recording 8.5 tackles for loss and 5 sacks in those four games. He was the only Cougar defender to complete that feat in the last 23 years.

In 2021, Parish recorded 54 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks.

Did you know? Parish once won an eating competition between the offensive and defensive lines by consuming 112 ounces (7 pounds) of rare steak.

Houston Cougars Drafted into the NFL

The Cougars have had 30 players selected in the NFL since 2000.

Thanks for reading.

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