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Texas Ties Abound for Many on Houston Texans

Many Texans are Houston Texans.

Before you say "Well, yeah..." What we mean is: there are many players and coaches on the Houston Texans who played their high school and/or college ball in the state of Texas.

Saturday night is the State of Football preseason game against the Buccaneers at NRG Stadium. The Texans will recognize and celebrate several standout high school and college programs that evening. For example, captains from the 2020 6A State Champion Katy Tigers will help toss the coin before the game. Also, Sam Houston State Head Coach K.C. Keeler, who guided the Bearkats to last year's FCS national title, will be the Homefield Advantage Team Captain along with a few of his players.

The pros have connections to the Lone Star State as well, and they are plentiful. Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith was a key member of the Big Sandy powerhouse in the mid-1970's. In 1973, 1974 and 1975, the middle linebacker helped the Wildcats win three straight Class B State Championships. In fact, as a senior in 1975, he was part of a squad that surrendered 15 points the entire season. They went 14-0 and beat Groom in the title game that year. Smith coached the defense at his alma mater for a bit after his college career at Tulsa.

Defensive Line Coach Bobby King, meanwhile, played on the defensive line in the late 1990's at the University of Texas-El Paso. He was a three-year letter winner and started a pair of seasons in his stint there from 1998-2000. The Miners won the Western Athletic Conference title in his final year, and played in the Humanitarian Bowl against Boise State.

Jon Weeks has played more games as a Texan than anyone else in franchise history, and he's set to being his 12th straight season in Houston. The Pro Bowl Long Snapper played his college ball in Waco at Baylor University.

Defensive end Charles Omenihu grew up in Rowlett and helped the Eagles to multiple playoff appearances. Following his four years at the University of Texas, the Texans drafted him in 2019.

Receiver Keke Coutee was a Lufkin Panther, and then a Texas Tech Red Raider. He caught passes in Lubbock from Patrick Mahomes, and the Texans drafted Coutee in 2018.

Last year, the first player the Texans picked in the 2020 NFL Draft was TCU Horned Frog Ross Blacklock, who grew up 20 minutes away in Missouri City. Blacklock played his high school ball for the Elkins Knights. Blacklock is one of three former Horned Frogs on the squad, along with offensive lineman Marcus Cannon and rookie linebacker Garret Wallow.

Carson Green and Ryan McCollum, meanwhile, are rookie offensive linemen from Texas A&M. Green played his high school ball at Southlake Carroll, while McCollum was a Klein Oak Panther.

Several of the newer Houston Texans didn't play collegiately in Texas, but did so in high school, like Rex Burkhead (Plano) Lane Taylor (Arlington Martin) and Vincent Taylor (San Antonio Madison).

Join us at NRG Stadium on Saturday for the State of Football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Limited tickets are available here.