Five-star sets visit dates

Despite not playing a full four quarters in several games this season, five-star linebacker John Houston has 131 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions as a senior.

Gardena (Calif.) Serra five-star linebacker John Houston has inched his way through the recruiting process having only taken one official visit thus far, but that will soon change.

Houston has both his visit destinations and dates set.

“The 15th — next week — I have the Miami trip,” said Houston. “Me and Rasheem (Green) are going to Miami together, so we’ll be there for the Florida State game.

“It should be a great game. The following week it’s the 22nd and I’m at ASU for their game against Washington State. Then I have a break and then I’m going to Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game on Dec. 6. It should be a good game.

“All of them should be good games and it will let me see the programs in action and in game time mode. I’ll get to see the coaches and everything too.”

Houston’s lone visit thus far went to Oregon. He and fellow five-star recruit and teammate Rasheem Green made it to Eugene together for the Duck’s win over Washington.

“Oh, I loved it,” said Houston. “Me and Rasheem had a great time. It was a business experience at the game, but when I talked to the players, the players said nothing, but great things.

“The coaches said great things and the coaching staff has been there for 20-odd years and all the coaching staff have nowhere to go, so that puts another light into my decision. I’m just looking at Oregon and taking my time.”

Houston has been to USC on unofficial visits more times than he can count, so he has no plans to officially visit the Trojans.

On the Trojans’ up and down season, Houston was blunt.

“They just have to live and learn, basically,” said Houston. “They’ve been in a tough position in a couple of games.

“They’re going to try and get through it and get better. My boy Adoree (Jackson) is going to ball hard. Su’a (Cravens) and all of them are going to ball hard with them losing games at the last second. I know they’re going to push to do better.”

Adoree Jackson, who at this time last year was leading Serra High School into the CIF playoffs, has been a bright spot for USC playing both offense and defense as a true freshman.

“Oh, Adoree is great,” said Houston. “I told everybody he was going to do well in college. He out worked everyone and he’ll see the reward later on. I think he’s just going to keep doing it.

“Once Olajuwon Tucker gets action, he’s going to keep it going too. Once everybody gets their action, they’ll be better.”

USC may very well be better as Steve Sarkisian recruits a full roster of 85 scholarship players. However, with no official visit in the works, Houston’s attention is focused on what schools he will be seeing over the next two months.

“USC is still in it,” said Houston. “Everything is good with them. I talk to the coaching staff here and there. We just keep in contact. Me and Coach Tee Martin, we keep in contact, make sure everything is good. And Coach (Peter) Sirmon, we try and keep in contact and keep contact going on.”

Houston says the biggest factor drawing him to USC is the team itself. Not the players or coaches individually, but the synergy he has seen on the practice field.

“They work hard,” said Houston. “I’ve seen Sark with the players. They work hard. They get it in and they don’t stop. They just get it in. My boy Adoree has been telling me everything and he says it’s just hard work.”

At this point, Houston isn’t naming a favorite school. But as he begins to take more official visits, his priorities will begin to take shape.

“See, it’s hard because you have so many great programs out there,” said Houston. “In Oregon, you see a lot of great things, but in SC you see a lot of great things.

“Some things are the same, but some are a little bit different. Every college I go to, they’re going to show me the good, but I need to find out the features that nobody tells me out — the things that get pushed aside that make me a better person.

“Things like the academics. I want good academics, so later on with a degree that is strong, I can get any job I want.”

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