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Local products light up when talking Texans

Posted Feb 23, 2013

A trio of offensive NFL-hopefuls have unique Texans' connections, and shared about them during media availability at the NFL Combine.

The first two days at the NFL Scouting Combine have seen offensive players cycle through the media interview room, with Saturday and Sunday belonging to the defense. On Thursday and Friday, though, a handful of the offensive playmakers lit up when asked about the possibility of playing for the Texans.

Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams, a player some are predicting the Texans will select in the first round, boasted of his speed and ability to get open deep.

“I can stretch the field in a hurry,” Williams said. “I like to compete. I can make plays when my number’s called.”

Williams’ play on the field backed up those words, as he torched college secondaries to the tune of 1,832 receiving yards and 12 touchdown catches. At 18.9 yards per catch, Williams is a fascinating prospect for any team. But the Dallas native likes the Texans’ Andre Johnson, and smiled when asked about the possibility of playing alongside him.

“I know a lot about him,” Williams said. “He’s one of the best there is. If I could, I’d love to learn from him. There’s stuff he could teach me to maximize my game.”

Another local product who talked openly about the Texans was Rice’s Vance McDonald. The former Owls tight end, as he said in January at the Senior Bowl, cited a very versatile member of Houston’s offense as the player with whom he compares himself.

James Casey that came out of Rice, who came out a few years before me, great guy on the field, off the field,” McDonald said. “I've talked to James a couple of times certainly.”

On Friday, McDonald bench-pressed 225 pounds 31 times. That mark was seven reps better than any other tight end at the Combine this year.

In addition to Williams and McDonald, Aggie wide receiver Ryan Swope also lit up when talking about his Texans’ connection. At Texas A&M, Swope had more than 2,000 yards receiving over the course of his junior and senior seasons. Swope already has a familiarity with Texans’ head coach Gary Kubiak: the latter’s son Klint was on staff as a graduate assistant in College Station.

“I actually know his son,” Swope said. “He coached the inside receivers at A&M. He’s a GA. I got to know him really well. I text him weekly and just keep in touch with him.”

The chance to continue his football career just two-and-a-half hours from Austin, where he starred at Westlake High School, is enticing to Swope.

“I mean, that’d just be a special opportunity,” Swope said. “It’s right down the street from me. I grew up a Texans fan. It’d be a great opportunity.”

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