One-third of the Houston Texans 2022 draft selections already call the city home. Of the nine players drafted from Thursday to Saturday, three attended high school in the Houston area: OL Kenyon Green (Atascocita High School), DB Jalen Pitre (Stafford High School) and OL Austin Deculus (Cy-Fair High School).
"I think we're starting the Houston Texans Community College by picking a lot of kids that kind of grew up here right around the corner," General Manager Nick Caserio said. "We called (Jalen) Pitre and asked where he was. He was five minutes down the street. He probably would have sprinted to the stadium."
The Texans drafted two Houston-area players in their first two rounds, selecting Texas A&M OL Kenyon Green with the 15th overall pick and then Pitre in the second round (37th overall) out of Baylor, who grew up in the Stafford area.
"I was just sitting there, and I was talking to a family friend about the draft and how it unfolded and everything," Green said. "When I got the 832 area code, I already knew it was the Texans. I sat there. I was just shocked. I was just truly just thanking God for this opportunity being here, being able to stay home and play for my city. So, I'm going to give it everything I've got. I'm going to be the best player, best person you can ever meet, talk to."
Green recalls playing his high school playoff games in NRG Stadium. The Humble helped Atascocita average over 460 yards of offense per game and the third round of the playoffs.
"Grew up in Texas, went to Texas A&M, so understands football in this state, has roots here, has the support of his family and the people around him," Caserio said of Green. "Your support system is as important as anything because when these players transition, they're going to deal with a lot, so having a good infrastructure in place, having a good support system in place certainly matters. Ultimately, they're going to have to trust the people in our building to help enhance their overall experience as a player."
Drafted in the third round, Pitre earned 2021 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors and was named to the 2021 All Big 12 First Team. Before becoming a standout at Baylor, Pitre led Stafford High School to the 4A DI regionals and was named 2016 District 12‐4A Defensive MVP following his senior season.
"I'm very proud to wear Stafford on my back and I'm very thankful that I went there," Pitre said.
Deculus, the Texans sixth-round selection (205th overall) out of LSU, appeared in 61 games for the Tigers, more than any other player in the program's history. The offensive lineman attended Cy-Fair High School where Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair also graduated. The two connected over famous school motto to inspire students and players.
"We have a saying over at Cy-Fair, 'Bobcat fight never dies,'" Deculus said. "That was the first thing he (McNair) told me. I said, 'Yes, sir.' It was an amazing moment. It is crazy because of what a small world it is."
The Texans selected nine total players in this year's NFL draft. In addition to Green, Pitre and Deculus, Houston drafted DB Derek Stingley Jr., WR John Metchie III, LB Christian Harris, RB Dameon Pierce, DL Thomas Booker and TE Teagan Quitoriano.
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