“I just looking at them overall,” said Houston. “I just looked at all my options, and North Carolina was the best fit. [Ronnie] McGill is going to be a senior next year and the spot is going to be wide open for whoever gets there. So I guess I just wanted to grab the opportunity.
While staying in-state has its appeal, Houston explained that factors such as his relationship with the coaches and the future of the program were far more important.
“Carolina is close to home," he said, "but, don’t get it twisted - I didn’t pick North Carolina because it’s close to home, that’s just a plus. I like Coach [Frank] Cignetti, he’s real cool. I like his style of offense. I like that they run the ball a whole lot. All the coaches are cool; I’m cool with every single one. I have all the coaches numbers, and they all text me every single day.
“They are going to have a great quarterback coming in – Mike Paulus. They have great receivers at North Carolina, so all they need is a running back.
Houston added that college life and education finalized his decision.
“The campus is the best I’ve ever seen, and the atmosphere is great there. Academic wise, they are one of the best and have a good support system for their athletes.”
In addition to the Tar Heels, Houston sported offers from Clemson, Florida, Louisville, Marshall, Miami, Michigan, NC State, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.
From the get go, Houston has stated that North Carolina was recruiting him the hardest.
“The coaches would text me everyday saying ‘How are you doing,’ ‘We want you at Carolina,’ ‘Come visit,’ and stuff like that,” said Houston.
In hindsight, this was one of the worst kept secrets of the year. Although he had made plenty of unofficial visits to other schools during the spring, his decision to commit came on the heels of visiting Chapel Hill during their three-day camp.
“It wasn’t that long ago that I knew,” said Houston. “I just wanted to be sure. And my family and coach just wanted me to be sure.”
On pace to be one of the best UNC recruiting classes in recent memory, Houston is the fourth pledge possessing a four-star rating by Scout.com. Not including the holdovers from the 2006 class, North Carolina’s commitment list currently includes seven names – five from the state of North Carolina.
Although being recruited to play tailback by coach Dave Brock, Houston is the 20th ranked defensive end in the nation by Scout.com. Scout.com also considers him the 53rd ranked recruit in the Southeast Region and seventh in the Tar Heel State.
As a junior at Matthews (N.C.) Butler High School, Houston was named to the All-Conference and Charlotte Observer All-Area teams after accumulating 1,910 yards and 34 touchdowns.