Houston a Unique Athlete

Though he wavered during the transition from the John Bunting regime to the Butch Davis regime, Ryan Houston decided to stay put and will fax in his National Letter of Intent to North Carolina Wednesday morning.

"I think it was just the fact that he had already committed there with the previous staff and he liked the school," said Mike Newsome, Matthews (N.C.) Butler head football coach. "After speaking with Coach Davis he felt like it was still the place for him to be so he just stuck with his original commitment."

Houston firmed up his verbal commitment during his UNC official visit where Davis assured him that North Carolina's plans for the 6-foot-2, 255-pound tailback hadn't changed just because the coaching staff had.

"They still talked to Ryan about playing running back – that's his big thing," said Newsome, minutes after faxing in Houston's Letter of Intent. "He wants the opportunity to play running back at the next level. Despite his size, he felt confident that they were going to give him that opportunity.

"And then still the friends that he had made that were going to stick by their commitments, too, I think played a big part in it."

Up until his dismissal, Dave Brock handled Houston's recruitment for UNC. Tommy Thigpen, one of the assistant coach holdovers, then assumed the role.

In Houston, North Carolina is adding a special running back prospect to their roster.

"They're getting a phenomenal athlete that can do things with a football that different ‘backs can't do," said Newsome. "They're getting a guy with extremely good elusiveness where he can make people miss, and then still brings power that a lot of running backs don't have."

Houston, a Scout.com four-star recruit, is the 20th ranked tailback in the nation.

As a senior, Houston rushed for 2,182 yards and 32 touchdowns on 375 carries earning all-area honors.

Houston was also selected to the Shrine Bowl where he rushed for 14 yards on five carries for North Carolina's squad.

Newsome looked into his grades a few days ago and says Houston "is going to be fine" regarding qualifying.

Ryan Houston Profile

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