HOUSTON – Dinner was served as sumptuous portions of steak were carried out to a hungry crowd of University of Houston football players.
The Coogs renewed their tradition at Taste of Texas with a steak eating contest for their offensive and defensive linemen that included filet mignon, New York strip steaks, ribeyes and giant Tomahawks. Some of the players somehow still managed to find room for dessert: cheesecake and ice cream.
The big guys had a gargantuan appetite and a zest for competitive eating.
Mostly, though, it was a time for bonding and perhaps some bulking up before the Coogs’ first season in the Big 12 Conference.
“Eat as much as I can until I can’t eat no more, that’s the strategy,” right tackle Reuben Inije said. “I mean the competitor in me always wants to win, but the logical side on me knows I won’t be winning later. It’s a battle between my ego and my brain.”
Offensive lineman Max Banes was one of the most impressive competitors quickly downing bites of steak and coming back for more. He had a game plan for the steaks.
“I’m just trying to scarf down as much as I can and keep drinking water,” said UH left tackle Patrick Paul, an all-conference selection and projected high draft pick.
Defensive end Nelson Ceaser took his time instead of rushing through his meal.
“Slow and steady, bro,” Caeser said. “I always want to win, but it’s not looking too good for me right now.”
#UH @UHCougarFB digging in at lineman steak eating contest @TasteofTexas @PatrickPaul_76 @MaxwellBanes @RUnije @IAMNPC3_ @KPRC2 @KPRC2RandyMc @KPRC2Ari @KPRC2Chancellor #Big12 #steaks pic.twitter.com/3378d0XFvv— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) July 19, 2023
Houston Roughnecks coach and UH alum Wade Phillips, a former Texans interim head coach and defensive coordinator and a head coach with the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos, was having dinner with his wife at the restaurant when he stopped by to provide some words of encouragement
“Congratulations on being in the Big 12 this year,” Phillips said. “It’s going to be great. You’re going to kick (butt). Enjoy yourselves men. We’re behind you.”
Aaron Wilson is a Texans and NFL reporter for KPRC 2 and click2houston.com.