Gardena (Calif.) Serra five-star linebacker John Houston spent last week watching USC up close while formulating his first list of favorite college options.
Houston has had his pick of schools for the better part of a year, but
as August approaches, his focus is narrowing.
"I'm going to be dropping a list of my top 13 or 14 schools in a couple
of weeks," said Houston. "I'm narrowing it down to 13 schools where I
feel I will for there programs as a player and a student.
"Right now, I have USC, Florida State, Oregon, Oklahoma and Florida
making the list for sure."
Having been to USC several times over the spring, he observed last
week's Rising Stars Camp without participating.
"I went down to get a bond with the coaches," said Houston. "They told
me to come out for my birthday, so I went out and had a great time.
"The coaches all sung happy birthday to me, so it was good."
The birthday boy did more than eat cake and blow out candles last week.
While at USC, Houston made sure to watch the coaching staff interact
with its campers.
"They interacted with the players with intensity," said Houston. "The
coaches also coached everybody up. Whether they were the most talented
or not, the coaches were out their teaching everybody."
Houston, like most football fans, couldn't help but matriculate from
linebacker drills over to the defensive backs and wide receivers drills.
"Yeah, I watched the receivers and thought the wide out from Florida
who got the offer (Tristan Payton) was excellent," said Houston.
Payton is currently committed to Florida, but with several USC commits
on hand at the camp, Houston has avoided the full court press by his
peers to make an early decision for the Trojans.
"They've been pretty laid back about USC," said Houston. "You hear them
in the background, giving me information about the school and telling
me about how everything is.
"They talk about how close the team is, but they're not pressuring me
about committing too much. They're letting me take my time so I can
figure things out when it comes down to the nitty gritty about what
program fits me the best."
"My interest in USC is equal with those other 13 schools," said
Houston. "I like the coaching staff, the academics and I like the good
overall feeling I have with USC as a school."
Five-star has five making his top 13
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