Today, TechSideline.com’s Class of 2019 Prosect Profile series continues with a talented prospect in running back Jordan Houston.
Houston is a 5-foot-9, 170-pound recruit from Flint Hill School in Oakton, Va., just outside of Washington D.C. Houston holds 13 scholarship offers so far, including offers from Michigan State, Penn State and Tennessee. Let’s look at how the major recruiting networks rate Houston as a prospect.
Rivals: Three-star, No. 13 in Virginia
247Sports: Three-star, No. 8 in Virginia
ESPN: Not ranked (Editor’s note: ESPN is later in ranking their prospects than the other services)
Houston is one of those three-star prospects that with a good senior season, could vault into the four-star category. What does the available film say about Houston as a prospect now?
As a running back, Houston is about as explosive as you’ll find at the position. As a junior, Houston ran for 1,971 yards on 166 carries (11.8 yards per carry) and rushed for 25 touchdowns. He also caught 10 passes for 342 yards (34.2 yards per reception) and four touchdowns. Houston is a big-play threat, whether it’s as a runner or as a receiver.
The explosiveness comes from Houston’s ability to make defenders miss. He’s quick, fast and agile, and is incredibly hard to get your hands on. Houston excels at reading his blocks, planting his foot in the ground and cutting away from defenders. Once he plants, he’s off to the races.
If you are able to get your hands on Houston, that doesn’t mean he’s going down. His low center of gravity gives him great balance, and he runs tougher than his size would indicate. Most guys who are 170 pounds don’t have the ability to run through arm tackles, but Houston does. With his agility, quickness, balance and speed, Houston is a home run-threat every time he touches the ball.
The only question is that with Houston’s size, can he hold up as an every down back? He’ll have time to put on some muscle and add to his frame, but is he a guy that can carry the load? The fact of the matter is that in today’s college football landscape, it’s almost impossible to find many running backs of that type. There are only so many of them in the sport.
With Houston, a school is getting a dynamic running back who can score on every touch. He’s a threat on the ground and as a receiver out of the backfield, a skill that is growing in importance in today’s game.
Running back has been a spot of bother for Virginia Tech in recent seasons. Historically, the Hokies have had several backs that have carried the load offensively and put up impressive numbers. But over the last several years, Tech has struggled to find that talent. With a guy like Houston, or Devyn Ford, Virginia Tech would get a running back perfectly capable of breaking tackles and moving the ball down the field.
Houston earned his Virginia Tech offer last summer after camping with the Hokies in Blacksburg. Since then, Tech has stayed on him and will continue to recruit him. They’ll have to fend off a few schools to keep Houston in the Commonwealth, like Penn State, but the Hokies are in good position with him at this point.