Deontay Greenberry Signs with Houston: Can He Succeed Without Case Keenum?

John PattonContributor IFebruary 1, 2012

Case Keenum had a record-setting career at Houston but will miss out on throwing to new signee Deontay Greenberry.
Case Keenum had a record-setting career at Houston but will miss out on throwing to new signee Deontay Greenberry.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Whether it be Andre Ware, David Klingler, Jimmy Klingler or Case Keenum, the Houston Cougars have earned a reputation for producing outstanding college quarterbacks who pile up yards in bunches.

However, often unnoticed are the players who catch all of those passes.

Ever heard of Manny Hazard?

Probably not. But from 1991-2009 the former Cougar wideout held the NCAA record for receptions in a season with 142. Now a broadcaster covering the Southeastern Conference, there have been many times Ware has gone out of his way to say he never would have won the 1989 Heisman Trophy without Hazard's significant contributions.

No doubt Hazard would add there likely was no way he'd become an All-American without the work of Ware and David Klingler.

On Wednesday, Houston got a surprise signed national letter of intent from coveted wide receiver Deontay Greenberry.

A product of Fresno (Calif.) Washington Union High School, Greenberry had been committed to Notre Dame. However, a late visit to Houston swayed the 4-star prospect (per Rivals) and now, he is a Cougar.

But his arrival won't coincide in any way with Keenum's stint in Houston, as the record-breaking passer is now preparing for the NFL scouting combine.

That said, the Cougars never seem to have much trouble throwing the ball, so one has to believe Keenum's projected replacement, sophomore-to-be David Piland, will continue the tradition.

A product of national powerhouse Southlake Carroll (Tx.), Piland started eight games as a true freshman when injuries derailed the seasons of Keenum and his backup, Cotton Turner.

There, he threw for 2,461 yards with 24 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while completing 58.1 percent of his passes for an average of 330.1 yards per game. With Keenum and Turner healthy again in 2011, Piland redshirted with an eye on 2012.

And now, Piland has a 6'3", 187 pound target in Greenberry, who could develop into an NFL-level receiver, something not even the ultra-productive Hazard—undrafted in 1991—can claim.