Houston showed his ability to dominate against the run during the national title game against Alabama, when he led Texas with 10 tackles, including two for a loss. But he's also flashed the ability to get after the quarterback, netting eight sacks last season from the inside position.
He gives much of the credit for his success to defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, who held the same role with the Miami Dolphins in 2005 before returning to the college ranks in 2006.
"I had a good experience with Will Muschamp, who just left the NFL [a few] years ago," Houston said. "So I'm kind of used to [working with an NFL coaching staff]."
DL Lamarr Houston
"It's a total audition all around," he said. "People tell you that all the time. You have to do your best at all times. Everybody's watching you and taking notes, so you just have to be yourself and mind your manners.
"I just have to play football. A lot of guys get caught up in the hoopla, but you just have to do what you did to get here and that's play football."
Houston savored the all-star environment of Senior Bowl week. He jumped at the chance to compete on the same line as Terrence Cody, Geno Atkins and Jeff Owens. He also embraced the chance to tee off against some of the nation's top players, such as Oklahoma RB Chris Brown.
"It's a good experience with all the different names and faces [at the Senior Bowl] to sit down with people and meet with them outside of a hostile environment," he said. "It's fun and exciting getting to compare yourself to players on a different level."
It's how he compares to players on the next level that has the Chargers interested. If he can produce like he did at Texas, he could instantly become San Diego's best pass-rushing lineman while helping to stiffen the team's run defense.
A projected third-round selection, Houston could provide great value if he's still on the board at No. 91, assuming A.J. Smith has not already addressed the defensive line by that point.
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Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.