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From Aggieland to Houston: The story of an Aggie football star coming back home

Cedric Ogbuehi
Posted at 11:45 AM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-08 15:08:42-04

HOUSTON, Texas — Usually, when you go to a football game or practice, it can be hard to recognize your favorite players if it weren't for the numbers on their back.

However, if you stick around for long enough, the helmets eventually come off and that's when you'll see some familiar faces.

But first, the sun rises over NRG Stadium, southwest of Downtown Houston.

The rays become a blanket of light over the green turf at the Houston Methodist Training Center.

NRG Stadium
Players warm up in front of NRG Stadium ahead of a Friday morning training camp practice.

It's there a new era of Houston football is being built.

TEXANS TRAINING CAMP 2022
Pad on a pole branded with the Texans training camp 2022 logo.

“Man, it's just been fun," said defensive lineman Maliek Collins. "I enjoy coming to work every day.”

Fans making the journey to the facility in record heat, including Houston Rockets' Head Coach Stephen Silas.

Stephen Silas at Texans Training Camp
Houston Rockets' Head Coach Stephen Silas attended his first Texans training camp.

“It's been so good just to watch how they do things," Silas said, as he met Texans Head Coach Lovie Smith for the first time. "Get to meet everybody, connect, and then just enjoy the day.”

For many players on the roster, NRG Park is called home and has been called that for a while.

"There’s a new standard everyday that we have to keep reaching," Collins said.

While protecting the pigskin on this exact field is new for offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, the state of Texas is home.

Cedric Ogbuehi at Training Camp
Cedric Ogbuehi positions himself for an interview after day of training camp practice.

"It's a three-hour drive so if I ever wanted to go [there] it’d be really quick," Ogbuehi said.

In Ogbuehi's professional career, he wore many jerseys.

Starting off in Cincinnati as its first-round draft pick in 2015, to Jacksonville, Seattle, Baltimore and now in Houston.

”Year eight, I’m blessed to be here," he said, with a smile. "I’m back home so it’s pretty cool.”

As a veteran in the League, he's now playing with first-rounders that found themselves in the same position as him nearly a decade back. Like Kenyon Green, a recent A&M graduate.

Green is injured and was not available to interview.

“He’s gonna be out for a period of time," Head Coach Lovie Smith explained. "You get as much mental work as you can, you rehab your injury; we like everything Kenyon Green has done.”

When asked what he's most excited about to bring to this Texans' offensive line, Ogbuehi answered with one word: "Experience."

Then he said that he gave Green and others in the locker room the same advice.

He said all they have to do is "compete and win games" together.