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Texans sign 2011 draft class in time for start of camp


HOUSTON - All eight members of the Houston Texans 2011 Draft class are under contract and will be on the field to start training camp workouts on Monday, Aug. 1, the team announced today. The Texans signed first-round pick DE J.J. Watt, second-round picks, OLB Brooks Reed and CB Brandon Harris, CB Roc Carmichael (fourth round), FS Shiloh Keo (fifth round), QB T.J. Yates (fifth round), T Derek Newton and ILB Cheta Ozougwu.

Watt (6-5, 290) was drafted with the 11th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft following a stellar 2010 season with Big Ten Champion Wisconsin. In his final season with the Badgers, Watt earned the 2010 Lott IMPACT Trophy Award along with second-team All-American and consensus first-team Big Ten honors. He was also placed on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award watch lists.

Watt led the Badgers in sacks (7), quarterback hurries (10), forced fumbles (3) and blocked kicks (3), while finishing second in tackles with 62 (42 solo). He also finished third in the nation and sixth in school history in single-season tackles for loss (21). In 2009, Watt ranked second on the team in tackles for loss (15.5), pass breakups (5) and fumble recoveries (2) and third in sacks (4.5). He was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week once after recording six tackles, three tackles for loss and a career-high two sacks against Hawaii.

For his career, Watt started all 26 games he appeared in and totaled 106 tackles (74 solo), 36.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks.  He ranks third in school history in career blocked kicks with four.

Reed (6-3, 263) was selected with the 42nd overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft after a four-year career at the University of Arizona. Reed earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors after starting all 13 games in his senior season with the Wildcats, tallying a career-best 47 tackles, 6.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss.  He also registered two pass breakups and one forced fumble.

In 2009, Reed was named to preseason watch lists for the Rotary Lombardi Award and the Ted Hendricks Award. He started 8-of-10 games, recording 23 tackles (19 solo), two sacks and five stops, contributing to a defensive unit that ranked fourth in the Pac 10 and 29th nationally in yards per game allowed (120.5).

For his career, Reed started 34-of-45 games, recording 114 tackles (61 solo), 17 sacks and 25 tackles for loss.  He also forced four fumbles and deflected four pass attempts.

Harris (5-10, 191) was drafted with the 60th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft following his three-year career at the University of Miami. In his junior season, Harris was named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award (nation's top defensive back) for the second consecutive year.  He started all 13 games, recording 44 tackles and a team-high 10 pass breakups en route to a second-team All-ACC selection.

As a sophomore, Harris led the ACC and ranked second nationally with 1.3 passes defended per contest.  He also tied for second nationally in pass breakups (15) and third in passes defended (17), earning him first-team All-ACC honors. Harris started 32-of-39 games in his career, recording 132 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four interceptions, five forced fumbles, two sacks and 28 pass break-ups.

Carmichael (5-10, 182) was selected with the 127th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft after an impressive four-year playing career at Virginia Tech. For his career, Carmichael recorded 115 tackles (75 solo), 16 deflections and 10 interceptions for 158 yards in returns (17.6 average). He returned two interceptions for touchdowns to rank fourth on the school's all-time list.

In 2010, Carmichael earned second-team All-American and All-ACC first-team preseason honors.  For the year, he totaled 26 tackles (19 solo) while ranking second on the team with four interceptions for 87 yards in returns and a touchdown.  He also broke up seven passes and was selected as the ACC Defensive Player of the Week once.

In 2009, Carmichael was named a second-team All-ACC selection by the NFL Draft Report and was the recipient of the Don Williams Team United Award, given to the defensive player who put the team first. He ranked sixth on the team in tackles with 55 (31 solo) to go along with six deflections and six interceptions. Carmichael led the Hokies in interceptions while placing second in the ACC and tied for 11th nationally.

Keo (5-11, 219) was drafted with the 144th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft after completing a record-setting career as a safety and return specialist at the University of Idaho. In Idaho annals, Keo ranks first in career punt return yards (585) and single-season punt return yards (319 in 2007). Also in 2007, Keo set a school record after returning a punt 100 yards for a touchdown vs. Northern Illinois. On special teams, Keo averaged 11.0 yards on 53 punt returns and 20.3 yards on eight kickoff returns.

For his career on defense, Keo started 50-of-55 games at strong safety and recorded 358 tackles (237 solo), one sack and 20 stops for loss totaling 67 yards. He gained 168 yards on 11 interceptions and deflected 20 pass attempts. In addition, Keo forced three fumbles and recovered six others. He ranks fifth in school history in tackles (358), tied for sixth in interceptions (11) and eighth in pass deflections (20).

Yates (6-4, 220) was selected with the 152nd overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft following an impressive playing career at the University of North Carolina. Yates set 37 Tar Heel records, including single-game, single-season and career records for pass completions and yards. He became the only Tar Heel to throw for 3,000 yards in a season and 400 yards in three separate games. Yates was also the most accurate passer in school history, completing 795-of-1,277 attempts (62.3 percent).

For his career, Yates threw for 9,377 yards (208.4 average per game) and 58 touchdowns.

Newton (6-6, 314) was drafted with the 214th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft after playing two seasons at Arkansas State University. Last year, Newton earned first-team All-Sun Belt accolades after starting all 12 games at right tackle.

In 2009, Newton garnered second-team All-Sun Belt honors and received the Gary Withrow Award, given to the Red Wolves' most outstanding offensive lineman.  He was the only lineman on the team to start every game in 2009 and helped lead the Red Wolves to 21 rushing touchdowns, the third most in the conference.

Ozougwu (6-2, 255) was taken with the 254th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft after a four-year career at Rice University. A Houston native, Ozougwu earned All-C-USA first-team honors by the league coaches and was one of 30 candidates for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.

Last season, Ozougwu tied for second in C-USA with three forced fumbles, all strips of the quarterback. In 2009, Ozougwu earned honorable mention All-C-USA honors from the league coaches after setting career highs for tackles (61), tackles for loss (10.5) and sacks (4.5).  His 61 tackles ranked second among conference defensive linemen.

For his career, Ozougwu registered 197 tackles (120 solo), 26 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 15 quarterback hurries and four forced fumbles.

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