A versatile weapon coming off a torn ACL, it hasn’t taken John Metchie III long to impress his Texans teammates. Just ask Brandin Cooks.
“That kid’s special.”
While Metchie continues to rehab following surgery in December, it’s been the “little things” that have impressed the long-tenured Texan. That’s what makes him believe Houston’s second-round pick has every trait necessary to become an impact player once he’s ramped up to full speed.
“You can just tell it,” Cooks said. “You know when you talk with someone, you just get that feel about a guy; the way that he goes about his business. Obviously right now he’s not going with us, but his focus and paying attention to the little details that he can pay attention to — I like him and I can’t wait to get to work with him.”
Often looked upon as the shallow target-hog or sure-handed possession receiver within the intermediate portions of the offense, Metchie worked his way up the exhausting depth chart of talent in Tuscaloosa to ultimately earn his keep. From battles in practice to take targets away from the likes of DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Jerry Jeudy, and Henry Ruggs III, Metchie blossomed in 2021 working opposite Detroit Lions first-round pick Jameson Williams.
“Some of the things that he did at Alabama, and some of the things he endured and played with, just no normal people would do,” Texans GM Nick Caserio said. “This guy’s level of toughness is exceptional.”
That toughness was something Metchie touted as a young boy. Born in Taiwan before moving around the globe to Ghana and Canada before settling in the United States, Metchie’s experiences within the world’s most unique landscapes and cultures expedited his childhood—he grew up quickly. Before he ever would take a pass to pay dirt in front of the raucous crowd at Bryant-Denny Stadium, his days of escaping guard dogs in Ghana were where he initially developed his elite speed. You can read more about that here.
From there, his family moved to Canada. While children there are welcomed out of the womb with hockey skates and a stick, Metchie chose a different path, opting for the gridiron—he loved the Canadian Football League as a kid.
While the years went on and Metchie’s love for the game persisted, the outlet for high-level prep football in Canada just wasn’t viable, and Metchie took it upon himself to open the door for an opportunity by way of the Saint James School in Hagerstown, MD. A program rooted with players from all over North America, Metchie quickly found his home. While many teenagers would find the constant moves nerve-wracking or intimidating, Metchie thrived in unfamiliar territory and eventually earned his offer to Alabama from Nick Saban.
Although he entered at the bottom of the totem pole as most freshmen do, Metchie established himself as a grinder from the moment he stepped foot into Alabama’s facility. Late nights, early mornings, social events, and parties were long afterthoughts as Metchie was in the weight and meeting rooms as often as he could be before personnel would kick him out. He had to earn his stripes, and boy did he.
A smooth-moving talent who totaled nearly 2,000 yards receiving during his final two years in Tuscaloosa, Metchie proved time and time again he’s much more than his labeled “security blanket” at the second level. While false narratives are common forthcomings that surround first-year talents on an annual basis, Metchie and Cooks have the potential to progress into an awfully nice 1-2 punch for quarterback Davis Mills this fall. Following years of trials, tribulations, and moves across hemispheres, being a go-to target for a rebuilding Houston roster is just another unfamiliar circumstance now at the feet of Metchie. If history repeats itself, he’ll flourish.