Breakout Candidates 2024 Football Season!

Off-season shenanigans!! Here are my top 5 breakout candidates before spring practice makes it obvious :rofl:

5. Payton Dunn 6’6 325 OL

Big strong OL, transferred in last year, played behind Tyler Johnson, started to get a lot of playing time towards the end of the year. He was very good for ULM

Prior to Houston

  • Spent three seasons at ULM (2020-22)
  • Played 1,292 snaps at left guard between 2021-22
  • Started 11 games at left guard (614 snaps) in 2022
  • Allowed one sack in 355 chances
  • Appeared in 11 games in 2021 including 10 starts at left guard
  • Fourth among Warhawk offensive linemen with 679 snaps
  • 70+ snaps in seven games
  • 12 knockdowns tied for fourth on the team
  • Multiple knockdowns in four games
  • Helped pave the way for Malik Jackson (118.7 rushing yards over last three games)
  • Jackson added two 100-yard efforts in last three games
  • Season-best 78 snaps and produced two knockdowns at App State
  • ULM set season highs for rushing yards (231) and rushing touchdowns (3) at App State
  • 74 snaps and season-high four knockdowns in 41-31 victory vs. South Alabama
  • Warhawks amassed a season-best 555 yards total offense vs. South Alabama
  • Earned first collegiate start in 2021 season opener at Kentucky

4. Pancake Hunter 6’2 310 C

Very very talented C. We had flipped him from OU, played behind Freeman these past 2 years. Finally saw action this year and played well. One of the highest rated OL UH has gotten in the last 10 years. Hes already up 10 pounds from last year. He should be in good position to win the starting C job this year.

  • Four-star prospect by 247Sports
  • Team captain
  • 4.3 GPA, Superintendent and Principal’s Honor Roll
  • No. 2 center nationally (Rivals)
  • No. 44 player in Texas (Rivals)
  • Nation’s No. 31 offensive lineman (247Sports)
  • 2022 National Football Foundation Team of Distinction
  • Unanimous First-Team All-District as a junior and senior
  • Played in Under Armour All-America Game
  • 110 pancake blocks
  • Graded at 96 percent through 10 games
  • Did not allow a sack or quarterback pressure as a senior

3. Traylin Payne 6’0 205 LB

Coach wood loves speed. Especially at linebacker. Payne showed some amazing flashes over the last 2 years. No doubt in my mind he’s going to be a stud. He will probably be first in line to start week one of Platt can’t go.

As a Sophomore (2023)

  • Appeared in all 12 games (309 snaps)
  • Made two starts – coming against Baylor (Nov. 4) and Cincinnati (Nov. 11)
  • 27 tackles (13 solo), 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT
  • UH Defensive Player of the Week at Baylor
  • Defensive snaps include box (175), slot corner (68) d-line (8) and free safety (7)
  • Tied for team lead with 8.0 tackles at Baylor
  • 13-yard sack on 4th & 6 to stop Baylor drive in UH territory during second quarter
  • 41 of 51 special teams snaps on kick coverage
  • Intercepted UTSA QB Frank Harris at UH 22-yard line during 3Q of opener (Sept. 2)
  • Interception came despite playing just nine defensive snaps vs. UTSA
  • Six tackles, including one TFL, against Oklahoma State (Nov. 18)
  • Four stops in finale at UCF (Nov. 25)

2. Stephon “Boogie” Johnson 6’1 180 WR

I am really high on boogie and with Golden gone this is the prime opportunity for him to step up. He is extremely talented and a very polished route runner. Dana did not know how to use him but I feel confident Fritz’s will. We saw in the WVU and UCF game what he could do.

  • Appeared in all 12 games including two starts
  • Started at the slot at Rice (Sept. 9) and UCF (Nov. 25)
  • 371 snaps including 170 at wide and 154 at slot
  • Third on team with three touchdown receptions
  • Fourth on team in receptions (24), yards (277) and YPG (23.1)
  • Etched name into UH lore with game-winning Hail Mary reception vs. West Virginia (Oct. 12)
  • 49-yard game winner marked Houston’s first Big 12 victory
  • Play earned Pop-Tarts Crazy Good Play of the Week resulting in hundreds of Pop-Tarts being shipped to the UH Football team
  • Receptions in 11 of 12 games
  • Season high six receptions at UCF
  • 16-yard TD at UCF gave UH early 7-0 lead
  • Season high 96 yards and 2 TDs against West Virginia
  • 21-yard TD with 7:28 to play and Hail Mary catch – both in fourth quarter vs. WVU

1. Anthony Holmes JR 6’2 295

Last but certainly not least AHJ. This one is pretty obvious he’s the next great UH DL imo. Moving to a 3-4 defense is perfect for him. He will be able to play DT and DE with how well he moves. He showed more than flashes last year he was a real contributor and one of the few bright spots in our defense. Rogers may start week 1 but I think by conference play AHJ will have solidified himself in that starting role.

As a Redshirt Freshman (2023)

  • Appeared in all 12 games (475 snaps)
  • Three starts – coming in first three games of season
  • 459 snaps across 12 games on defensive line
  • 21 tackles (13 solo), 4.5 TFLs and 2.5 sacks
  • 4.5 TFLs ranked third on team
  • 68.9 defensive grade (PFF) was tops among Big 12 freshmen interior defenders
  • 67.8 pass rush grade (PFF) was tops among Big 12 freshmen interior defenders
  • 20 QB pressures ranked eighth among 2026 and 2027 NFL Draft-eligible interior defenders
  • Eighth in Big 12 in QB pressures (20)
  • Ninth in Big 12 in hurries (15)
  • Tackles in 10 of 12 games
  • Season highs in TFLs (2.5) and sacks (1.5) vs. Cincinnati (Nov. 11)
  • Combined nine tackles over his final three games
  • Four tackles against UTSA (Sept. 2) and Cincinnati

I think Holmes will be a redshirt sophomore, yes?


Yes sir!

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Great breakdown K. Very informative. Thank you for putting in the effort to do this.


I love these kind of informative post .Thank you Khris !
Go Coogs !

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Great stuff, as always, K Money! Thanks for this info…

Pancake wasn’t a four star on 247

Good research.

He was until his rating dropped, he was an all American. Prob dropped it because he decommited from OU and come here.