Houston Next in Line

JuCo running back Stephen Houston officially visited North Carolina over the weekend in hopes of leaving with a scholarship offer.

"The visit went smooth," Houston said. "I didn't get the offer – that was the only down part. But they didn't tell me that they weren't going to offer – they're just don't know right now, because they started recruiting me so late and they already had other guys on their radar that they were recruiting before me."

Houston, a 5-foot-10, 225-pounder from Independence (Kan.), was told he'll find out the status of a possible UNC offer by the end of this week.

"They have a few guys that went on visits also [to other schools] as the same time as I did," Houston said. "So [the UNC coaching staff] is just trying to see what they're going to do. Coach [Butch] Davis said if there's a spot, I'll definitely get it. They didn't mention any names, but they said they had another ‘back that was on another visit."

Shortly after arriving at UNC on Friday with his mother and grandfather in tow, Houston met with Davis for approximately an hour.

"[Davis] just talked about how they got to recruit me and how late in the recruiting process they got on me," Houston said. "But, he said I was a steal for anybody. He said I would be a fit for anybody, but he wants me on his side, but we've got to see how the thing plays out."

According to Houston, UNC is recruiting him exclusively as a tailback as evidenced by his Saturday film session with Ken Browning, UNC's running backs coach.

"[Browning] sat with me for about an hour just going over plays and asking me if I think that I would fit this offense," Houston said.

Also on Saturday, Houston received a full campus tour.

"They showed us the basketball museum, the Dean Dome, we went to [Kenan] Stadium, and then they showed us how it's going to look after they enclose the stadium," Houston said. "… They showed us the locker room and the new gear that they're getting."

Both Friday and Saturday nights, Houston went out with his host Zach Brown, a junior linebacker.

"The players showed me love," Houston said. "[Brown] showed me a real good time and if I could do it again, I would – hopefully I get the offer so it would be a permanent thing.

"One of the recruits and I hit it off real well – Chris Russell."

In addition to discovering the status of an offer, Houston also wanted to see how comfortable he felt at UNC.

"I felt the love as soon as I got on campus," Houston said. "It was a great feeling."

Houston said UNC is his favorite, but one other school has recently stepped into the picture.

"North Carolina is the only school that I'm looking at right now, but Memphis is trying to set up an official visit – possibly next week," Houston said. "The coach said he's going to call me sometime this upcoming week."

Houston signed with Mississippi out of high school, but was forced to head the JuCo route when he failed to qualify. He red-shirted his first season at Independence and thus has three years of eligibility remaining.

In his only season playing for Independence, this past season, Houston rushed for 1,082 yards and five touchdowns on 165 carries.

Stephen Houston Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories