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Tyler Ervin to compete for spot in return game

Posted Aug 2, 2016

Bill O'Brien spoke Tuesday about Tyler Ervin's ability in the punt return game.

Tyler Ervin scored 28 touchdowns in his career as a San Jose State Spartan.

But it was his final one that sticks out in Bill O'Brien's mind.

"One of the last plays he made in college was an 82 yard punt return for a touchdown at San Jose State," the head coach said Tuesday. "He’s a very good punt returner."

Ervin got loose for the score (WATCH IT HERE) in the second quarter of last December's Auto Nation Cure Bowl against Georgia State. He eluded three arm tackles and juked out the punter on his way to the end zone that evening.

The running back pumped out 1,601 rushing yards in 2015, scoring 13 times on the ground and averaging 5.4 yards per carry. But his ability on special teams, where he finished with five career scores on returns, set him apart in the eyes of the Texans.

“Absolutely," O'Brien said. "That’s one of the reasons why we drafted him."

Ervin's in the mix to return punts with fellow rookies Will Fuller and Wendall Williams, along with veterans Cecil Shorts, III and Charles James, II. The experience in the return game varies among that quintet, according to O'Brien.

"Some of them we are teaching because we think they have the skillset to be able to do it," O'Brien said. "But Tyler, that’s one of the things he’s going to have to do. One of his jobs is going to – he’s going to have to be able to return punts.”

Ervin and the Texans will head inside the Houston Methodist Training Center for practice on Tuesday. 


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