The original plan was for Houk to pay his own way this coming fall, and then receive a scholarship starting in January.
"Coaches were telling me that there is a real small chance that I could get a scholarship for the fall, but not to get my hopes up," said Houk. "They said there was seriously like a one percent chance of that happening, so I definitely wasn't counting on it."
Nevertheless, Houk received a phone call from Cougar head coach Bronco Mendenhall Wednesday night notifying him that he would actually get his scholarship this fall.
"I had no idea it was going to happen," Houk said. "Coach just called me up, let me know, and congratulated me. We talked a bit of how I was doing and that was it. I was so excited about it, I seriously just lost my mind. It was obviously great news for me and for my family."
In a new move for BYU football under Mendenhall, the coaches are expecting all incoming scholarship freshmen to enroll for summer semester and start classes on June 22. Now that Houk is one of those scholarship freshmen, coaches are urging him to arrive and enroll this coming Monday, just five days after even knowing he'd have that option.
The purpose for this is to better acclimate the players to BYU's academic curriculum, with the added advantage of having six weeks before fall camp begins to work out with the team.
"It's a lot to think about for sure," said Houk. "I mean, me and my family, we were planning other stuff. I just graduated from high school, so it's sort of hectic and there is a lot to think about right now. I'm definitely excited, but I'm also not sure of what I'm going to do quite yet."
Coaches aren't pushing him either way, as they understand that it's a tough decision for him. They'd obviously like him to arrive on time so he can get going sooner, but according to Houk, they'll completely understand if he can't.
"There's a lot to figure out right now," he said. "I need to decide what classes to take, pack up, and a lot of other things. I really don't know if I could make it there by Monday, but I'd definitely like to be there early and room with Alex [Kuresa]."
As one could imagine, Kuresa – who Houk has become very good friends with – is texting him quite often, urging him to get to BYU sooner rather than later.
When Houk does get to BYU, he'll be coming in as confident as he's ever been with his playing skills. Recently, he took part in the Barton Camp in Washington, and performed very well.
"I really thought I was done with camps until I got to BYU," he said. "But then I got a call inviting me to come out and play at this last Barton Camp, and I was like, ‘Sure, I love football, I always love to play football,' so I went."
As Scout's Chris Fetters reported, Houk dominated during the Barton Camp.
"I felt great out there," said Houk. "That was the best and most confident that I've ever played. I came home, and I was like, ‘Mom, pack up, I'm ready to go. I want to go to BYU right now.' I've never felt this confident about my game, and I'm very excited to get to BYU. I just have to decide when that is."
Houk is widely considered as a late bloomer and has drawn many comparisons with expected starter Cody Hoffman. His film shows a player that is very athletic for his size, along with the knowledge of how to use his superior height to his advantage.
"I really don't have any expectations for my first year," he said. "I just know that I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can to help the team. I'm very excited about my opportunities at BYU. I've been excited about it ever since I first committed. I really don't know yet if I'll arrive there on Monday, but I'll let everyone know what I decide here soon. It's a very exciting time for me and my family."