Doherty senior Lamarr Houston verbally committed Monday to play football at the University of Texas, ending a recruiting battle before it began. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound running back had been contacted by at least 26 high-profile programs, including Southern Cal, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Michigan and LSU. But with the decision, Houston is making a lifelong dream come true. His heart belonged to Texas. “Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve wanted to play at Texas,” Houston said. “I’ve always been a (Dallas) Cowboys fan and I always wanted to play for the Cowboys. I thought if I played at Texas, I would have a better chance of that. That’s not true, of course, but that is what I always thought.” Houston said he was prepared to announce his choice last week, but his parents — Billie Saye Houston and Frederick Houston — encouraged him to wait until Monday, just to be sure. He called Texas coach Mack Brown and assistant recruiting coordinator Bobby Kennedy on Monday morning. “They were excited that I was coming down there and they congratulated me on making the right choice,” Houston said. College recruiters praise Houston’s size and ability. He is a threesport athlete at Doherty, starting on the basketball team and throwing the shot put and discus on the track and field team. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds. “He is naturally strong with good quickness and good feet,” Doherty coach Mike Sirko said. “And I’m sure he’s going to get faster when he’s completely committed to college football and he’s at their training table and in their weight room.” Houston visited Texas on his own earlier this year. “I went to the stadium and it really wasn’t any different than some others I’ve seen, but I just liked it,” Houston said. “I liked the environment there. It’s a good school with a good football tradition and I felt like I was ready to make the decision now.” He said he didn’t feel any pressure to make an early commitment. “That was never the deal for me,” Houston. “I didn’t feel any pressure.” Houston will make his decision official during the first week of February, when high school football players can sign national letters of intent. NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from commenting on high school players prior to the signing period. Coaches at Texas have indicated they want Houston to play defensive end, a position he is comfortable with. Hehas played on the defensive line and as a linebacker at Doherty. “Any position they want me to play at Texas, I’m fine with it,” Houston said. Houston recently was named one of the Top 50 preseason All-Americans by Street & Smith’s magazine, one of six linebackers to make the national list. He also is regarded as one of the country’s best fullbacks and defensive linemen. CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0260 or email@example.com
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