Houston Taking It Slowly

The Gardena (Calif.) Serra five-star linebacker in 2015, John Houston, is in no rush to make a decision...

Gardena (Calif.) Serra 2015 linebacker John Houston (6-4, 203), is the top defensive prospect in the West for his class, an early five-star and one of the most heavily recruited players in the region.

In fact, Houston May be the top linebacker, overall and regardless of class, out West right now.

So it's no surprise that Houston is in double-digits for offers.

"I've been offered by USC, UCLA, Florida, Florida State, Washington, Washington State, Ole Miss, Utah, Oklahoma and Miami," said Houston.

The recruiting process was slow for Houston to start, but he knew that just being a sophomore that things could be slow out of the gate.

Then came his first offer, from UCLA, and not long after, the floodgates opened up.

"My first offer from UCLA was real exciting," said Houston. "Honestly, all of my offers were real good offers and they were coming from schools I see on TV. They were all really big offers."

USC followed UCLA not long after, a school that has consistently recruited Serra well.

"USC is coming on real hard, and that was big when they offered," said Houston.

With several teammates being recruited, including the West's top prospect in 2014, Adoree Jackson, Houston is getting plenty of attention, but admitted the two local schools are making him a priority.

"USC and UCLA are probably recruiting me the hardest," said Houston. "Coach (Tee) Martin and Coach O (Ed Orgeron) are recruiting me from USC and Coach (Jeff) Ulbrich and Coach (Adrian) Klemm are recruiting me for UCLA. They both want me as an outside linebacker. UCLA said they want me exactly how they use Anthony Barr."

Houston said that he's thrilled with his early offers and that from schools that haven't offered, Michigan seems to be the most interested.

"I was talking to Michigan during the spring, and that was pretty much it from who hasn't offered," said Houston.

Houston said he wants to play outside linebacker, but at 6-4, knows that rapid weight growth could potentially make him an end in a 4-3.

"Really, if it benefits the team to go down to be a 4-3 DE, I can go both, but what it really matters about is the team and what they're trying to do as a team," said Houston. "If I stay as an outside linebacker, I'll be pretty happy there."

Already a five-star and a top 20 prospect in next year's class, Houston welcomed being among the nation's elite.

"It's a great feeling, and a great accomplishment and now that people know me as a five-star, I'm going to show them that they can be a five-star, and try to be all they can, in their school," said Houston. "I just let my talent show that and when I'm out on the field, I'm not worried about anyone else."

He won't be the only talented player showing out for Serra this year, with the Cavs having no less than 16 players with an FBS offer.

"Serra always has a target on their back, but we always stay humble," said Houston. "At some schools, one player wants to play for themselves, but as a Serra Cavalier, we play as one. Right now, we're 0-0 and we can prove that again, that we can get to state. We're looking at that, an open division state championship. Last year, I think we averaged the same shutouts as the 2009 state game and that defense, so we just try to get back and shut out teams and shut them down, and then put zeroes on the board because we're shutting them down."

And because of that, Houston said he's not really in a rush to make a decision, wanting to play his junior year.

"I'm going to take the process real slow and look at each school really, really well and in-depth," said Houston. "I want to find that place with a home feeling, a great education, and one I can call home and just take it slow and wait until my senior year."

Brandon is in his ninth year with Scout.com and FOXSportsNext, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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