JuCo RB to Visit UNC

North Carolina is finalizing an official visit for JuCo running back Stephen Houston.

"[Art Kaufman] is supposed to let me know sometime this week – probably this Tuesday or Wednesday," Houston said. "If I do have a visit, it will be for this upcoming weekend – I'll leave this coming Friday."

Houston, a 5-foot-11, 225-pounder, began hearing from UNC after Thanksgiving.

"I had some help from one of my old coaches back in [Little Rock (Ark.) Fair] High School – him and [Kaufman] are good friends," Houston said. "[Kaufman] was recruiting one of my former teammates and he was told about me, and [Kaufman] came and visited me. It just shot up from there."

Kaufman began to discuss the possibility of having Houston officially visit following the holiday break.

"I kept in touch with Coach Kaufman and he came up to the school to see me once we got back [from the Holiday break]," Houston said. "He told me he was going to try to finalize the official visit for this weekend."

According to Houston, UNC is recruiting him strictly as a tailback but Kaufman has mentioned the possibility of him playing fullback in certain situations.

UNC has yet to extend Houston a scholarship offer.

"If they offer me on the official visit… and I like North Carolina and I feel the love from the players and the players accept me as a player and as a person, I have no problem with committing on the spot," Houston said. "I don't want to sound like I feel obligated to go there, but right now, if North Carolina is offering, that's where I'm going. North Carolina stuck with me while others didn't."

Bowling Green and Eastern Kentucky are the only other schools that are actively recruiting Houston.

"Northern Illinois was talking to me for a while," Houston said. "But they stopped talking to me, because they signed a mid-year guy from [Hutchinson] – Jamal Womble."

Houston signed with Mississippi out of West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West in 2009, but never ended up in Oxford. Transferring schools and a lack of maturity lead to him failing to qualify.

"I was immature at the time, so I didn't fully grasp what was in front of me," Houston said. "… I didn't grasp the opportunity Ole Miss was giving me to take it. I wanted to play around with it… I wasn't ready to go there [academically], because I was ready to go there as a person and as a player. But due to me not going to class, it wasn't an option."

Initially, Houston was offered a gray shirt opportunity by Mississippi. When that didn't work out, he was placed at Independence (Kan.) Community College by Mississippi's coaches.

Mississippi continued to recruit Houston until late this past fall.

"They finally told me they're not recruiting anymore offensive players – we're looking for straight defense," Houston said.

Houston will graduate from Independence this May and expects to have everything academically in-line to transfer to a four-year school.

After red-shirting his first season at Independence, Houston ended the 2010 season seventh in the NJCAA in rushing with 1,082 yards and five touchdowns on 165 carries.

Houston has three years of eligibility remaining. Stephen Houston Profile

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