HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Tom Herman was excited, just like all other coaches are, on National Signing Day at his first recruiting class as the head coach at the University of Houston.

There are some finer nuances, though, that help this class stick out.

Out of the 21 signees, 16 were from Texas. Nine came from the Houston area or from the city’s outskirts. He persuaded two, Lamar High School running back Tyreik Gray and Bush High School offensive lineman Josh Jones, to spurn offers from bigger schools to stay home and become a part of Herman’s new vision.

“(It was) priority number one,” Herman said. “This is a city (that’s) maybe the most heavily recruited city in America when it comes to high school talent. I believe the best coached players in the country are in this state and in this city, so we wanted to make sure the city of Houston was well represented in our signing class.”

Herman comes to UH fresh off a national championship as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator. He helped keep the Buckeyes’ offense at a dominant state even when Ohio State was forced to rely on their third-string quarterback. Herman also has assistant coaches such as Oscar Giles and Major Applewhite with championship experience.

“(That) helped a lot in terms of being associated with winners,” Herman said. “Everyone wants to go someplace that has won or knows how to win. We’ve got over a hundred years of recruiting experience in the state of Texas alone on my staff.

“I think the cherry on top certainly was my experience winning the national championship at Ohio State,” Herman added. “It feels good to know that your head coach and your staff don’t just say they’re going to win. They know how to win and they’ve done it. It turns from theory into testimony.”

Herman not only was able to keep Houston-area talent at home, he also filled needs, with three offensive linemen, three tight ends, and five linebackers for his 3-4 defense among his recruits. Transfers Adam Schultz from Utah and Elkins product Chance Allen from Oregon are also in this year’s class.

“The excitement about this signing class and this season is off the charts,” Herman said. “Myself and our staff were welcomed with open arms by the high school coaches in this state and especially in this city. I appreciate that.”

2015 UH Signing Class

Chance Allen    WR   Missouri City, TX (Oregon transfer)

Rusty Clark    TE     Saucier, Miss. (Pearl River CC)

Ryan Deshotel    TE   Pearland, TX (Pearland HS)

Emeke Egbule    LB    Galena Park, TX (North Shore HS)

Michael Eke    DB    Houston, TX   (Cy Falls HS)

Kameron Eloph    ATH    Bossier City, LA (Parkway HS)

Darius Gilbert    DB    Springhill, LA (North Webster HS)

Leroy Godfrey    LB   Missouri City, TX (Elkins HS)

Tyreik Gray    RB     Houston, TX (Lamar HS)

Kobe Idumwonyi   TE    Cedar Hill, TX (Cedar Hill HS)

D.J. Jenkins    LB   Huntsville, TX (Huntsville HS)

Josh Jones     OL   Richmond, TX (Bush HS)

Kevrin Justice    RB   Kilgore, TX (Kilgore HS)

Terry Mark    WR    Lufkin, TX   (Lufkin HS)

Jordan Milburn   LB  Galveston, TX (Ball HS)

William Noble    OL  Leander, TX (Rouse HS)

Camden Ross    LB    Fort Worth, TX (Timber Creek HS)

Adam Schulz    QB    Muskego, Wis. (Utah transfer)

Devin Smith    WR   River Ridge, LA  (John Curtis HS)

Tyrell Thompson   DE   Copperas Cove, TX (Copperas Cove HS)

Jarrid Williams    OL   Cedar Hil, TX (Cedar Hill HS)

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