Houston Taking His Time

2015 five-star Gardena (Calif.) Serra linebacker John Houston is still a long way from narrowing his list, but plans to visit the local schools over the spring and summer...

John Houston is a tremendous talent with size, athleticism and toughness. Cavalier coach Scott Altenberg already calls him the best linebacker he has ever coached and potentially the best defensive player period. At 6-3, 215 pounds, Houston is currently rated the No. 1 outside ‘backer in the West and the No. 17 overall prospect in the nation. He can rush the passer, play the run and drop in to coverage and is just scratching the surface of how good he has a chance to be.

On the recruiting front, Houston estimated he has around 18 offers or so far but is taking a wait and see approach right now and is in no hurry to narrow down his list.

"Right now, every offer is a blessing, I'm not leaning anywhere and I can't even say one offer stands outs over the others," Houston said. "My main focus right now is just getting bigger and stronger and putting on some good weight. I'm not too worried about recruiting right now, and I have no plans to make an early decision.

"My plan is take all five official visits and I don't think I'll make my decision until Signing Day. I want to go through the process and make sure I'm doing the right thing. I know I want to take my visits to schools outside the region but again, I have no idea of any specific places right now, I'll figure that out later."

Houston did attend USC's Junior Day in late January and although he doesn't claim a leader, it's a good bet the Trojans will be one of the teams to beat.

"I had a great time, it was my first time meeting the new coaching staff," Houston said. "I spent some quality time with Coach Sark and Sirmon, toured the campus, saw the facilities and also got a look at the academic center. The new staff definitely brings a lot of energy and you can tell they're motivated to go out and put USC back on top."

Serra has sent several players to USC over the years including Adoree Jackson, the top rated prospect in the West this past season. Houston said that won't play a big role in his decision although he did say talking to some of his former teammates will give him some special insight.

"I'll for sure talk to those guys and see how they like it there," Houston said. "It will be good to get that special perspective but at the same time, I'm going to do what's best for me and I'm not going to pick a school just because some former teammates went there.

"Like I said, right now, I'm open to everyone. I don't plan on taking any other visits this spring or summer except to UCLA since I haven't visited there yet and maybe USC again. I'll be going to the NIKE Camp in two weeks and hopefully make The Opening. That's about it for me though, just working on getting better as a player and will focus on recruiting later on."

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