Texans rookie Teagan Quitoriano celebrates ‘awesome’ first NFL touchdown

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 03: Teagan Quitoriano #TE17 of Oregon State runs a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 03, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) (Justin Casterline, 2022 Justin Casterline)

Teagan Quitoriano had waited a long time for the moment: scoring his first NFL touchdown.

The Texans’ rookie tight end and fifth-round draft pick from Oregon State caught a six-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Kyle Allen as Allen executed a play-action fake to running back Royce Freeman and rolled to his right to connect with Quitoriano.

Quitoriano, 22, did the rest, escaping a tackle attempt to get into the end zone during a 24-20 preseason win Friday night against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium.

“It was an awesome feeling,” Quitoriano said. “It was like all the work you put in growing up and everything kind of comes to a point. It didn’t feel as good as getting that win, though. At the end of the day, getting that win is the ultimate goal.

“It was a great play, it was a great play call and a great throw from Kyle. I just got to get in there. It was a good feeling.”

An honorable-mention All-Pac-12 selection in 2020 when he caught 14 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown, Quitoriano caught 19 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns last season.

He missed some time at training camp and during the offseason with a knee injury.

Now, Quitoriano just ices his knee for maintenance. With tight ends Antony Auclair (knee) and Pharaoh Brown (hamstring) missing time, the Texans are putting a lot of reps in for Brevin Jordan, Quitoriano, Mason Schreck, who caught the game-winning touchdown, and Seth Green, an undrafted rookie from the University of Houston.

“I’m just trying to stack days and stack reps,” Quitoriano said. “I’m quite a few reps behind a lot of the guys here. I feel great. It’s been great to get in the room with a bunch of great tight ends and great people and soak up as much as you can.”

At 6-foot-6, 258 pounds, Quitoriano has outstanding size. He started as a true freshman for the Beavers. He was an all-state football and basketball selection in Salem, Oregon. He originally committed to Oregon before accepting a scholarship to Oregon State.

“I’m a well-rounded tight end,” Quitoriano said. “I’m glad that Houston took a chance on me. That’s all I wanted: was to get my foot in the door. Now I’m just going to try to kick it down.”

Before the draft, Quitoriano met on Zoom multiple times with Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and tight ends coach Tim Berbenich.

“They liked the way I played,” Quitoriano said. “They like the way I’ve progressed in the run game. They have a lot of ideas and ways that they want to use me as a player. I just can’t wait to help the franchise win games.”

Aaron Wilson is a Pro Football Network reporter and analyst and a contributor to KPRC 2 and click2houston.com.