Five-star Gardena (Calif.) Serra linebacker John Houston hasn’t yet decided where he’s going to be playing his college football next year, but he has decided that he is going to take his final official visit in January.
“I’m taking the fifth one to USC on the 16th,” Houston said in a phone
interview Friday night.
Houston’s decision comes on the heels of a strong in-home visit with
USC recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon earlier
this week. But the conversation didn’t necessarily center on X's and
O's and the gridiron life.
“They are telling me more about education now,” Houston said. “Right
now, I’m at the point where I want a school that’s more than just
football. I want a school that’s going to help me in the long run and
be better for me for not just football.”
“We were talking about education-wise, the connections, the alumni and
everything like that. If you live here [in Southern California], you
have more connections than you do if you live in any isolated area.”
Thoughtful off the field and a thumper when he puts the pads on,
Houston seems to have a maturity beyond his age. Understanding that
football only lasts for so long, Houston plans to major in criminal
justice and he is soaking up the craziness of the final recruiting push.
“I wouldn’t say it’s hectic. Everything is just stacking up on top of
each other,” Houston said. “I take it as a blessing because some people
aren’t in the predicament that I’m in. So I take everything as it was
if I wouldn’t have it.”
Houston has been in the midst of a whirlwind of pitches and visits from
coaches, including an official visit to Oklahoma last weekend and five
in-home visits in a span of three days during the middle of this week.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound prospect said his trip to Oklahoma was “good.”
He enjoyed the coaches, particularly linebackers coach Tim Kish and
that the players were a tight-knit group.
“Everybody was very kind. It was amazing how it was. You could see it
was a program that has a bond. I could see throughout all the players
that they have a bond. I like that.”
After finishing with 134 tackles in 11 games this season, Houston will
next be in action on January 2 when he participates in the Under Armour
All-America High School Football Game at Tropicana Field in St.
Petersburg, Fla. While there will be commitment decisions announced
live during the game, don’t expect one from Houston.
“I’m going to wait all the way until National Signing Day [before
committing] just because I don’t want to rush this thing,” Houston
said. “Once I sign that letter, it’s all over. I want to make the right
decision for me and my family and me in the long run.”
Just because there has been a pipeline from Serra to USC in the last
few years, that doesn’t mean Houston will naturally follow suit. But he
did say that having people he knows already on campus doesn’t hurt.
“I see why Adoree’ and everybody went there just because it’s a great
program and they love campus as a whole,” he said. “That was right for
them, but is it right for me? That’s the big question I’m trying to ask
to myself and trying to figure out myself.
“Is it my gut feeling to go here or is it not? Or am I going here just
because someone is telling me to go here? I want a school that is right
for me and be there for the long run. I just want to make sure it’s
right for me before I make this decision.”
Houston has now officially visited Oregon, Miami and Oklahoma officially.
Houston schedules fifth visit
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