John Metchie III only arrived in Houston a few months ago, but his relationship with Houston Texans Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton spans back to his high school days. Hamilton worked hard to recruit the young wideout to the University of Michigan, where he served as passing game coordinator for two seasons (2017-18).
"I thought it was a great relationship, until he decided to go to Alabama instead of Michigan," Hamilton said.
All jokes aside, there were no hard feelings for Hamilton. He continued to follow Metchie even though he committed elsewhere.
"I was always excited to see Metchie play when we watched him play when he was at Alabama," Hamilton said. "You root for the good guys."
Fast forward to 2022, the two would cross paths again after the Texans drafted Metchie in the second round (44th overall) of the NFL Draft. Last season, Metchie ranked in the top 10 in the FBS in receptions (96) while accumulating 1,142 receiving yards (11.9 ave) and eight touchdowns.
"You go back and you look at what he was able to do at a high level in college football," Hamilton said. "You go out and want to project how his skillset will translate to the NFL game. That's a big reason that he's in our building. Spending a lot of time with John Metchie when he was in high school as well. He's a high character young man and we expect that he'll hit the ground running whenever he's available."
Currently, Metchie has been working his way back from knee surgery. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the Dec . 4 SEC Championship last year. While he didn't participate in OTAs, Head Coach Lovie Smith was optimistic that the rookie was "close" to hitting the necessary benchmarks to return. When healthy, Hamilton believes Metchie can be a dynamic player in the Texans offense. According to Pro Football Focus, Metchie recorded 640 yards after the catch in 2021 (6th among Power 5 WR) and 270 receiving yards after contact in 2021 (5th among Power 5 WR).
"He can create his own yards once he gets the ball in his hands," Hamilton said. "He has good short-area quickness, which will allow him to beat man coverage, and that's what you got to do in the National Football League."
Metchie and the rookies will report for camp on July 24, veterans on July 26. Texans training camp begins Friday, July 29 at the Houston Methodist Training Center.