Houston Among the Elite

One of the top 10 quarterbacks in the country, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle HS and Wisconsin verbal commit Bart Houston certainly proved his worth with his performance at the Nike Football Training Camp in California.

MADISON - With no pressure on his shoulder, Bart Houston headed to the Nike Football Training Camp on the Stanford campus with no expectations, no pressure and no over analysis of his game. He simply wanted to go and come out a better quarterback.

The results showed. With 13 of the West's top 15 quarterbacks on hand in Palo Alto for the Elite 11 Regional Camp, the four-star quarterback from Concord (Calif.) De La Salle was near perfect, throwing one incomplete pass of his roughly 40 attempts, and it was a pass that went through the receiver's hands.

"I was just going to have some fun," Houston told Badger Nation. "I threw the ball pretty well, so I can't complain about that. I threw the ball hard and had fun competing against the other quarterbacks."

One of the quarterbacks Houston was competing against was Zach Kline, a Cal commit from Danville (Calif.) San Ramon Valley, a school familiar to Houston because of the two team's budding rivalry. At the end of the day, Houston wasn't shy about his personal ranking.

"I was No.1, but I am biased," Houston said. "We're all friends in lines, but we all want to go out there and perform the best I can and better than anybody else."

It has been a productive month of May for Houston, ranked the seventh-best quarterback in the country by Scout.com, starting with his commitment to Wisconsin on May 2. Houston originally wanted to make his decision by the end of summer, but wanting to get his focus back on winning another state championship and recognizing that he already had made up his mind, he didn't feel a delay was necessary.

"It felt right, it was the right time to do it and Wisconsin came out on top after weighing all the positives from my offers," Houston said. "My parents, especially my mom, are really excited. She's a little sad that her boy is leaving, but I guess that's what every mom has to experience. My teammates are all happy for me, and are excited to get back on the field with me and start winning again."

In terms of excitement, offensive coordinator Paul Chryst is near the top of the list. Using contacts he made when he was an assistant coach at Oregon State, Chryst worked diligently to recruit Houston – his top quarterback in the 2012 class – was elated when he got that phone call from Houston.

"Coach Chryst said I made his month," Houston said. "He was really excited to work with me and I am really excited to work with him."

As a junior, Houston passed for 1,922 yards with 20 touchdowns and four interceptions - and rushed for 11 scores - for a team that in December won the California Interscholastic Federation's open state title with a 48-8 thumping of the nation's No. 4 team, Servite. It's that kind of success as a quarterback and as a leader that gives Houston the confidence that he could be a multi-year starter for the Badgers.

"I think I have the leadership skills to succeed, so all I have to do is get up there now," Houston said. "I figure that I can compete with any quarterback in the nation. Once I get up there, there will be probably three other guys up there, and I'll have to compete with them for the starting job every year. I believe I can do it."

Houston's performance at Stanford earned him an invitation Monday to the prestigious invite only four-day Nike Football Training Camp in Los Angeles this summer, a camp were only a select amount of juniors and the top 12 quarterbacks in the country gets invited to.

"No camps for me," Houston said, "although if I can, I would love to go back up to Wisconsin."

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