GoBlueWolverine went to the TCU Nike (and Elite 11 tryout) Camp looking for quarterbacks -- Matthew Stafford or Sean Hakes. Neither were to be found (Stafford reportedly decided to go on an unofficial visit to Georgia instead).
So, GBW went looking for a top prospect who might be seriously interested in Michigan ... preferably one from out of the north-Texas region which has not been fertile ground for U-M recruiting.
We settled in on a cool sunny day, watching the linebackers ... sort of sitting back and relaxing, letting the mind and eye drift a little ... our thoughts went back to perhaps the top Nike linebacker performances we had ever witnessed, that of Lamarr Woodley at the 2002 MSU Nike Combine. There was Lamarr, huge although not overly tall, surprisingly nimble, a man among boys, a 'natural' who didn't have to work hard to stand out. There's Lamarr out there, having an easy time of it ...
Wait a second, that's not Lamarr Woodley! The mind suddenly snapped back to the present. This is 2005, not 2002, and that's not Lamarr Woodley ... it's Lamarr Houston Jr., we're watching on the TCU practice field today.
Houston, a huge 'backer' from Doherty High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is an amazing Woodley look-alike on the field. A little taller than Woodley, perhaps not quite as fast, with the same 'half again as big as anyone else' physicality and a similar 'natural' easy-loping style. A man among boys out there.
Here is how Houston looked to us:
During a break we went up and chatted with Houston.
"I measured 6-foot-3, 256-pounds today. And I ran a 4.85 second 40" (note: the Nike 40 times are electronic this year, which is considered to add as much as .2 secs to a hand held time ... Woodley ran a hand-held 4.72 sec. 40 in '02).
(Houston towers over the other linebackers)
The main question: is there mutual interest with Michigan?
"Yeah, I'm hearing from Michigan. They haven't offered me yet though," he said. So what schools is he looking at? "I'm mainly looking at the schools that have offered me so far: Texas, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Arizona State, Arizona."
"If Michigan offered me they'd be right up there."
As a junior, Houston was one of three juniors to be named first team all-state in Colorado, and is considered the state's top prospect. He had 100 tackles, three fumble recoveries, and two sacks. As a fullback he had 70 rushes for 779-yards and 11 touchdowns.
Note: with the spring evaluation just beginning for Michigan this week, we'll see which new kids pop up as serious Wolverine recruits. Linebacker Lamarr Houston is one for recruiting fans to keep in mind.
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