Five-star has five making his top 13

Gardena (Calif.) Serra five-star linebacker John Houston already has five of his top 13 college choices penciled in.

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."

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