In a significant move to reinforce its quarterback roster, the University of Houston’s football program has successfully recruited Zeon Chriss, a three-star talent and former Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns player, who recently announced his commitment to the Cougars via a social media post on Wednesday morning. The rising redshirt sophomore brings three years of eligibility to the team.
Chriss, who saw action in eight games during the 2023 season, demonstrated his capabilities by posting a 3-3 record as the starting quarterback before sustaining a season-ending leg injury in Week 10 against Arkansas State. Notably, he showcased his skills in a memorable 34-30 victory over Texas State, where he threw for 205 yards and three touchdowns, achieving a remarkable 76.5 percent passing rate. Additionally, Chriss contributed 67 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
The 20-year-old’s impressive stats from last season highlight his dual-threat abilities, excelling in both passing and rushing. Chriss accumulated 1,222 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, and five interceptions with a completion rate of 66.7 percent. On the ground, he notched 492 rushing yards and six touchdowns, averaging an impressive 6.7 yards per carry. His overall performance translated to 243 total yards per game in the seven contests where he attempted a pass.
As the team looks forward to spring practice, Chriss’s arrival adds intrigue to the quarterback position. Donovan Smith, the incumbent starter and rising senior, is set to return after a commendable 2023 season, where he threw for 2,801 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. While Smith’s completion percentage is slightly lower than that of Chriss, it’s worth noting that Chriss faced competition in the Sun Belt, while Houston navigated its inaugural year in the Big 12. Ui Ale and Lucas Coley are also in contention at quarterback, but the likelihood of either starting next season appears low, barring an injury to Smith.
With Chriss’s commitment, the University of Houston now boasts the 16th-ranked transfer class and holds the No. 52 spot in the overall recruiting class in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.