Houston Has Early Favorites

Starmount High School quarterback/defensive back James Houston is one of the top athletes in the state of North Carolina's class of 2004. An all-around great athlete, the 6-3, 185 pound Houston will be a highly recruited prospect this year.

James Houston's early recruitment reflects his incredible talents, as a host of schools from coast-to-coast have picked up on the Boonville, North Carolina star. "Nebraska, Oregon, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Penn State, Virginia Tech, and Clemson are the ones I can remember that I've gotten stuff from," Houston said Thursday night.

Does he have a group of favorites early on in the process? "South Carolina, Wake Forest, and N.C. State, those are the three that I really like right now," Houston noted. Of those three, Houston has only visited N.C. State. Although the Starmount junior lists in-state schools as two of his top three, Houston says that he would probably like to go out of state to play college ball.

Many high school prospects playing 1-A prep football don't normally get big-time attention as recruiters are wary of the competition. With all the early college interest surrounding Houston, one must ask, why is this prospect so heavily recruited? Easy answer.

Last season, Houston, who has 4.4 speed, threw for 944 yards and 11 touchdowns on 49-112 passing. He also rushed for 12 touchdowns on 128 carries for 1,367 yards for the Starmount Rams. Defensively, Houston was even more impressive, tying a state record for interceptions in a season (16) and interceptions returned for a score (3).

"[Those records] mean a lot to me," Houston said. "I couldn't believe that they kept throwing to my side. I thought they'd just stop." But opponents didn't and, like any top-notch prospect, he took advantage.

After tying two state records as a junior, what are his goals for next year? "I'm going to try harder to beat the interception record," Houston said. "That's my goal, to break the record."

Houston, who led Starmount to a 12-2 record last season, wants to play quarterback in college. He notes that Michael Vick is his favorite athlete and that he will attend the NIKE camp at Virginia Tech May 17th.

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