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5 Burning Questions in 5-Star LB John Houston's Recruitment

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJune 27, 2014

5 Burning Questions in 5-Star LB John Houston's Recruitment

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    Credit: 247Sports

    John Houston is a 5-star linebacker from California with a great skill set. He's an athletic second-level defender who has a game that is based on speed and explosiveness.

    At 6'3" and 211 pounds, Houston has solid instincts and ball-location skills to flash to the football versus running plays. He also is more than capable of flipping his hips and transitioning in space while out in coverage.

    Many schools are in the mix for Houston, which is why he has a few burning questions regarding his recruitment.

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' Composite Rankings.
    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

     

Is Houston a Lock for USC?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Houston plays at Serra High School, which is located in the Gardena section of Los Angeles.

    The school also can be considered a USC pipeline. Former Trojans such as Robert Woods and Marqise Lee are alums of Serra, while USC-bound elite 2014 recruit Adoree' Jackson is from the school, too.

    The Trojans are felt by many to be the key team to watch for Houston, and they're at 100 percent in his 247Sports Crystal Ball. Houston was deemed a lock for USC by Edward Lewis of BruinSportsReport.com (subscription required) on June 9. 

Does UCLA Have a Shot?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    UCLA is among Houston's top suitors, and the Bruins appear to have a shot with him. Houston showed up to the B2G Elite Camp earlier this month with a UCLA visor on, according to Edward Lewis of BruinSportsReport.com (subscription required).

    The 5-star linebacker will be trimming down his list soon, and he told Chris Swanson of USCFootball.com (subscription required) that the Bruins will definitely survive the cut. Look for Houston to take multiple visits to Westwood before he makes a decision.

What Other Schools Are in the Hunt?

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    USA TODAY Sports

    While USC and UCLA appear to be Houston's prime suitors, several other programs will get consideration.

    Schools such as Florida State, Oklahoma, Miami, Notre Dame and Oregon still have a leg in the race, according to Chris Swanson of USCFootball.com (subscription required).

    While it would be somewhat shocking to see Houston leave Los Angeles, several prominent programs figure to make a serious run at him.

When Will a Decision Be Made?

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Houston has a right to make his decision at any time, but it appears it will not come soon. Per Edward Lewis of BruinSportsReport.com (subscription required), Houston's recruitment is expected to last awhile.

    While an exact time frame has not been given by the stud 'backer, look for a decision to come in January at the earliest. Let the speculation begin!

What's His Best Schematic Fit?

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    At 6'3" and 211 pounds, Houston has a ton of speed for a linebacker. He can do a lot of different things on the second level, but his best fit is a 4-3 defense.

    While having him rush the passer as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme could work, Houston is at his best as a "Mike" linebacker in a 4-3 alignment. He also can play both outside linebacker positions in a 4-3 scheme due to his quickness and ability to factor in coverage.

    Houston told the following to USCFootball.com Recruiting (subscription required) on June 7:

    "UCLA wants to keep me as an Anthony Barr type player on the outside. They want me to rush the quarterback, drop into coverage and go man with the running back. At USC, depending on what I do on the outside, they want to move me inside and make me more of a leader on the defense.

     

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.

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