James Houston IV did not a miss a beat during his visit to Florida on Monday. The South Florida native arrived in Gainesville at around 11 a.m. and made sure he did not waste any time; he wanted to see everything.
"I was having some fun," he said. "I saw them practice and they looked really good. I saw the campus, I saw the academic building, saw the locker room, and saw the stadium."
"We went into coach McElwain's office, and we talked for about 30 minutes," said the American Heritage linebacker. "We just talked about the possibility of me having a future at Florida.
"I really took a lot away from it," he added. "They told me about their academics, and that they were top 20 in business. They told me this was the best place for me, this should be my home."
His conversation with McElwain helped Houston learn more about the program off the field, and his time seeing Shannon at work at the practice fields, helped him see the total package.
"He [Shannon] did a great job of coaching," said Houston. "I love the way he coaches. He can coach the worst players to be the best, I love that. I love that he has coached all of the great linebackers, and I know he is going to keep putting out kids like that."
Although the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder saw plenty he liked on his visit, he is not prepared to name any favorites at this time.
"I'm not really sure," he said. "I really like Florida a lot, it's just that I haven't really visited a lot of places so I really have to visit more places to compare it."
He will start making those trips this week.
"I will be going to UCF on Wednesday and I'll be heading to Miami on Thursday," he stated. "I just want to see if it is the right place for me. If the coaches are right, and the program [is right.] The academics have to be a number one issue."
Apart from Florida, Arkansas, California, Clemson, Florida State, Kentucky, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Wisconsin are some of the schools that have extended an offer to Houston. Although he has plenty of top programs trying to add him to their respective class, Houston continues to try to exceed expectations.
What really motivates me is that with recruiters and writers, I'm not the number one linebacker in the country, so there are linebackers better than me," he said. "That really just makes me want to do better when they think there is someone that is better than me.
"Miami, Wisconsin, Florida, South Carolina, they tell me I'm number or number two on their board, and I know I'm a high priority for them," he said. "It makes me feel like I am doing something right and it makes me want to ball out even more next year, so there is no doubt on anybody's mind that I'm the best linebacker."
Houston does not have a set timeline to make his decision.