University of Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr., of Tyler, is gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated's college football preview issue, the magazine announced on Tuesday.
Ward, a John Tyler High School graduate and winner of the 2015 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, is on the watch lists for collegiate awards as well as been mentioned as a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Ward is featured on one of four regional covers for Sports Illustrated's college football preview issue.
The headline for his cover says "Run It Back. Greg Ward Jr. Wants You To Know: Houston's Leap Last Year Was the Real Deal."
The cover featuring Ward will be available to subscribers and stores in Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri.
The issue is scheduled to hit newsstands on Wednesday.
The other covers feature Michigan defensive back Jabrill Peppers, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen.
Ward threw for 2,828 yards and 17 touchdowns last season and also ran for 1,108 yards and 21 scores as UH went 13-1 and defeated Florida State in the Peach Bowl.
The Cougars are ranked No. 13 in the Amway coaches poll released last week.
The last time a UH football player graced the cover of Sports Illustrated was quarterback David Klingler for the 1991 college football preview.
Also on Tuesday, Cougars coach Tom Herman named the team captains.
Joining Ward as a captain are cornerback Brandon Wilson, defensive end Cameron Malveaux and tight end Tyler McCloskey.
In the SI issue, Pete Thamel writes about how Ward and Herman had to overcome serious doubts about each other to find success.
In addition to this week's cover, Ward has also appeared on preseason watch lists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Davey O'Brien Award, the Maxwell Award, the Wuerffel Trophy and the Johnny Unitas Award.
The Cougars open the season on Sept. 3 against the Oklahoma Sooners in the Advocare Texas Kickoff Classic at NRG Stadium in Houston. The game is set for 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on ABC.
UH hosts Lamar on Sept. 10, followed by trips to Cincinnati to meet the Bearcats on Sept. 10 and to San Marcos to meet Texas State on Sept. 17.