Houston, who committed to North Carolina last summer, is reconsidering his commitment after the announcement last week that Tar Heel coach John Bunting will not return to Chapel Hill next season.
"He's definitely going to visit Louisville," Houston's coach, Mike Newsome, told InsideTheVille.com Monday afternoon. "He's keeping his commitment to North Carolina until he sees who they hire, but he's definitely going to take a visit to Louisville and keep his options open."
"I'm still committed to Carolina," Houston told InsideCarolina.com last week. "I committed to play Carolina football, not ‘Coach Bunting Football.' I'm still firmly committed to Carolina, but I'm going to take more visits and check around, because I don't know what kind of coach they're going to bring in to Carolina. Depending on who they bring in is going to effect my commitment."
Newsome said that Louisville has talked about bringing Houston up for a visit in December when Rick Pitino's team plays host to rival Kentucky. However, a commitment to play in North Carolina's Shrine Bowl makes that date unlikely to work out.
So when might Houston visit U of L? According to Newsome, the 6'2, 250-pound star running back could visit Louisville as soon as next week.
will visit Louisville, possibly
as soon as next week.
"If we win our game tonight and get a number one seed in the playoffs and play a 16-seed, it's possible he could get up there next weekend," explained Newsome.
Louisville coaches have kept in constant contact with Houston this fall despite his verbal commitment to North Carolina. "They call about once per week just like everybody else," Newsome said. "Joe Whitt is recruiting Ryan and he's the one who calls."
"Louisville was next in line for Ryan the first time he committed to Carolina," Newsome said. "I think that's probably still the case. He likes Clemson, too, but they just signed one of the top running backs in the nation last year. And he likes Tennessee but they've got two commitments this year from highly rated running backs."
Immediate playing time will play a big role in Houston's decision.
"He wants to go to a place he can go in and make a difference right away," Newsome said.
The appeal with Louisville, according to Newsome, is Bobby Petrino's track record of using big running backs in his explosive offense.
"He knows they like to use big backs like Eric Shelton and Michael Bush," Newsome said. "We're familiar down here with Shelton because he played for the (Carolina) Panthers. Ryan wants to play running back in college. He's as good as Jerome Bettis and he's the type of athlete like Michael Bush."
Houston has rushed for 1,380 yards and 20 touchdowns this season. He needs just 120 yards to break the Mecklenberg County (Charlotte) career rushing record currently held by Jacksonville Jaguar running back Alvin Pearman.