Houston, an Arkansas native, signed with Mississippi out of West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West High School in 2009, but was forced to head the junior college route when he failed to qualify. He red-shirted his first season at Independence (Kan.) CC and then played as a red-shirt freshman amassing 1,082 yards and five touchdowns on 165 carries. He signed with UNC a couple days after receiving a Tar Heel scholarship offer.
Houston was informed of the admission denial last week.
"They were holding my admissions [hearing] the week of my graduation," Houston said. "And then after my graduation, they just denied my admissions completely. They felt that I wasn't capable of doing the work.
"It had nothing to do with the coaches – it was just UNC's academic side. It's something that haunted me back in high school and is still haunting me to this day. So I'm just learning from my mistake yet again."
Since he was denied admission, Houston has been released from his Letter-of-Intent to UNC.
"Basically, I'm back on the market, so to speak," Houston said. "I'm looking for schools that need a running back."
Houston has had conversations with representatives from Arkansas, Eastern Michigan, and Indiana. Additionally, the UNC coaches – specifically Art Kaufman and Marcus Berry – have contacted Colorado, Pittsburgh, and Utah on Houston's behalf.
Houston only took two official visits during the recruiting process – to Memphis and UNC. Thus, he has three remaining. He's in the process of scheduling official trips to Arkansas and Eastern Michigan.
"I have to get more in-depth with Indiana before we can talk about a visit," Houston said.
Besides helping him find a new school, the UNC coaches have provided moral support.
"At first, I was down and out," Houston said. "But I talked to the coaches and they seem sincere about it. I can believe them, because they did what they could to try to get me into their school and they stuck their neck out trying to recruit me.
"Now, I'm just focused on trying to get into another somewhat close to North Carolina-type of school."