CB Houston Waiting To Make Decision On NFL

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas cornerback Chris Houston is in no hurry to make a decision about his future.

Like other underclassmen, Houston has until Jan. 15 to decide whether to return for his senior season or leave Arkansas early for the chance to be selected in the upcoming NFL Draft. Houston said he'll wait until after the No. 12 Razorbacks (10-3) face No. 6 Wisconsin (11-1) in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1 before the junior makes a decision about the NFL. "I haven't given it (any) thought. I'm just taking everything slow, don't want to move too fast," Houston said Sunday. "I'm just thinking about this Wisconsin game." Houston is perhaps the Arkansas underclassmen who's the most ready to make the jump to the NFL, though wide receiver Marcus Monk and defensive end Jamaal Anderson have shown potential this season. But both Monk and Anderson could likely improve their stock by spending another year in school. Houston, meanwhile, has proven to be Arkansas' best cover cornerback while defending some of the nation's top wide receivers this season. He held Southern California's Dwayne Jarrett, a potential top 10 pick, to just five catches for 35 yards in a 50-14 season-opening loss. And Houston gave up only five catches for 68 yards to LSU's Dwayne Bowe, who's also considered to be a possible top NFL pick. When asked why he's such a good cornerback, Houston said, "Because I shut all of them down. I'm a great cover corner. I mean, not too many people do too much on me." Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said he expects to get information back sometime this week on where his underclassmen, including Houston, could be drafted if they decided to leave school early. Nutt has said that Houston, with his combination of athleticism and knack for shutting down an opposing team's top wide receiver, could be a first-round pick. This despite the fact that Houston has recorded only two career interceptions. "It feels good (to have the NFL as an option) because that's something you dream of as a kid. That's why you play the game, to go to a higher level," Houston said. "But I've just been thinking about Wisconsin. "God is going to make everything fall into place like He's supposed to, so I don't want to rush anything." The only Arkansas player selected in last year's NFL Draft was free safety Vickiel Vaughn, taken with the second-to-last pick by the San Francisco 49ers. When it comes time to make a decision on whether to leave for the NFL following his junior season, Houston said he plans to consult with his family, Nutt and Arkansas' assistant coaches. Despite being listed at 5-foot-11, 188 pounds, Houston is considered one of Arkansas' stronger players, benching around 450 pounds. He estimated his vertical jump at 37 inches and his time in the 40-yard dash at 4.37. Those numbers, if posted for NFL scouts, could improve Houston's stock. But so far, Houston's name is not listed on most 2007 NFL mock drafts. "I don't want to move too fast or make any decisions," Houston said. "I just want to play this last game, focus on Wisconsin and just let everything fall into place."

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