Houston Gets Offer, Commits

A day before National Signing Day, Stephen Houston got his wish – a scholarship offer from North Carolina. Almost immediately, the JuCo running back accepted.

"It feels great to finally find a home at a great establishment that's of high prestige as North Carolina," Houston said. "On Signing Day I will sign with North Carolina. I was wondering if I was even going to get [a scholarship]… It's like a dream come true all over again."

Art Kaufman, Houston's primary recruiter, delivered the news to Houston, a 5-foot-10, 225-pounder.

"[Kaufman] said ‘We're going to offer you but you've got to make sure this is what you want and that you're ready, because coming from a junior college you're going to be under the spotlight more because you're already at a school and you're coming in as a transfer,'" Houston said. "I told him that I was coming as soon as they told me, but he told me to talk to my parents just to make sure this is what I really wanted."

After talking it over with his parents, Houston called Kaufman back ten minutes later and verbally committed.

"They told me they were going to try to fax me the papers today so that I have them for tomorrow," Houston said. "But our schools are closed due to the snow, so my coaches can't get to our fax machine until tomorrow."

After officially visiting UNC two weekends ago, it was an easy choice for Houston.

"I watched North Carolina play a few games here and there on TV and they play in a very tough conference," Houston said. "A lot of people do great things in that conference. I feel like I can help them out and to be even more of a powerhouse."

Houston also officially visited Memphis, who told him it wouldn't have a scholarship for him.

The situation hasn't truly hit Houston, yet.

"I'm very excited," Houston said. "I'm just soaking it all in. On Signing Day, that's probably when you'll see all my emotions pour out."

Houston isn't sure if he'll enroll at UNC in the first summer semester or second summer semester.

"[UNC] starts the first summer semester on May 10 and I graduate in May," Houston said. "So it depends if I get everything done. At the latest, I'll be there in the second summer session."

Regardless, Houston says he doesn't expect to have any problems with transferring to UNC.

"I know everything that I need to make sure all my classes transfer into North Carolina," Houston said.

Houston, an Arkansas native, signed with Mississippi out of West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West High School in 2009, but was forced to head the JuCo route when he failed to qualify. He red-shirted his first season at Independence (Kan.) CC 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.

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