Houston Getting Attention At NFL Combine

INDIANAPOLIS -- Chris Houston put his strength and speed on display at the NFL Combine this week.

On Tuesday, the former Arkansas cornerback ran the combine's second-quickest 40-yard dash, regardless of position.

He also set what is believed to be a bench press record for his position.

Houston, though, wants more.

"I don't want to be just a workout wonder," he said. "If I can get (on a team) where there is someone that is a veteran corner -- watch them and study them -- I feel I can then be one of the best corners in the NFL in the upcoming years."

While his status as a first-round draft pick may have hinged on his performances this week, Houston didn't feel any nerves.

"Weights -- I do those all day," said Houston, who had a team-high three interceptions last season. "And running I can do, that's what God gave me."

All defensive backs went through running and jumping drills on Tuesday in the RCA Dome. It was the combine's final day.

Houston ran a 4.32 40-yard dash, just slightly off his goal of 4.30 or 4.31.

Only Kansas State wide receiver Yamon Figures ran faster during the six-day event, getting clocked at 4.30.

It's just another day in the life of Houston.

"I was the fastest kid in elementary," he said. "In middle school I was the fastest and in high school I was the fastest."

It was during his junior year in high school that Houston realized his potential. During a football practice that year, he was on the sidelines in street clothes after slightly twisting his ankle.

When other players ran the 40-yard dash, Houston decided to jump in -- proper attire or not.

"And I ran a 4.24," he recalled.

Houston said in recent weeks he has ran 4.22 and 4.23 40-yard dashes on an indoor track in Orlando where he trains.

Houston shined even more in the bench press portion, where he lifted 225 pounds 27 times.

While older combine workout results are difficult to find, it's believed to be a record for cornerbacks.

Auburn wide receiver Courtney Taylor expected Houston's performance. The two players have been working out together in Orlando.

"You guys are going to be amazed when you see how many times he can do 225," said Taylor, two days prior to Houston's workout.

In comparison, there were 40 defensive lineman at the combine. Of those, only 11 lifted 225 pounds more times than Houston, while four others equaled his total.

Of the 58 offensive lineman and tight ends in attendance, only 22 had more repetitions than Houston.

It's not just the strength of Houston that makes him a legitimate NFL prospect, it's the way he plays the game.

"That's the one thing with us receivers, we hate the DBs that are in our face constantly," Taylor said. "That's what he did this year."

Houston reached 36-feet in the vertical jump test, and reached 10-2 in the broad jump. Both of those performances rank Houston in the middle of the pack for cornerbacks.

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