UCLA in on Houston

2015 Gardena (Calif.) Serra linebacker John Houston has gotten interest from several programs throughout the West and nationally, including UCLA...

On a team loaded with talent, junior linebacker John Houston still stands out in a big way. At 6-foot-3 and a solid 205 pounds, Houston has an ideal frame. He's a high level athlete who can run, hit and cover and should develop in to a very good pass rusher down the line as well.

Houston plays inside ‘backer for the Cavs but might project even better as an outside linebacker at the next level. He'll continue to fill out and could be in the 6-4, 245 pound range easy by his sophomore or junior year of college.

When you combine how active he is, the toughness he plays with and his motor, you can make a strong argument that Houston is the top ‘backer in the region right now. Against Chaminade, Houston was all over the field making plays and is one of the few linebackers who can rush the passer, play in space and even drop in to coverage.

"They're a great team, we had two really tough games with them last year," Houston said. "I thought tonight would be a closer game but I still have a lot of respect for them and I'm sure we'll see them again in the playoffs.

"Our defense and especially our front 7 played really well tonight. They like to pound the ball and we were able to stop the run and that was big. It was one of our better games this year and I'm just really excited about getting the win."

On the recruiting front, Houston picked up a few new offers recently and said three schools are recruiting him hardest right now.

"USC, California and Notre Dame are recruiting me the hardest right now. Cal just offered me and I'm definitely interested in them. Notre Dame is a big time school and I like their program a lot as well.

"With USC, they're showing me a lot of love. Of all the coaches talking with me, I have the best relationship with Coach O (Ed Orgeron). They have been to my games and I'm curious to see who their new head coach will be. I want to see how the players respond to him and just see how I fit in with the new staff."

Oregon is another new offer for Houston and the ‘backer has high interest in the Ducks as well.

"I like Oregon, I like their style of play," Houston said. "They play fast and up tempo on both sides of the ball and that's how I like to play. If you watch me on the field, once the play is over, I'm ready to go, I'm ready for that next play. Oregon plays fast and they're fun to watch.

"UCLA is showing me a little interest as well and were one of the first schools to offer me so I have some interest there too. The biggest factors for me will be education, a place where I can feel at home and overall strength of the football program.

"My plan is to go through the process and maybe narrow my list down by the end of the summer. Then I'll take my trips during the season next year before I make my decision. I don't plan to commit anywhere early, I could wait until Signing Day if I need to but it will be a family decision. When I'm ready, I'll do it but it won't be anytime soon."

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