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May 24, 2006

USC in Peach State DE's top five

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Statesboro (Ga.) defensive end Justin Houston, one of the best defensive prospects in the Peach State's rising senior class, now has seven scholarship offers on the table.

"I have offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, South Carolina, Auburn, Oklahoma State and Ole Miss," the 6-foot-3, 228-pound Houston said. "Out of those, I'm looking hard at the first five schools I named."

Houston, who racked up 73 tackles and eight sacks as a junior, took visits to both in-state schools this spring.

"I went to Georgia and Georgia Tech. I've liked Georgia since I was little, and I liked what I saw on the visit. I also like Georgia Tech. They have a good academic setup and it's in Atlanta."

Houston also has reasons to like Florida.

"Jeremy Mincey just finished up at Florida, and he's from my high school. He's someone that I have always looked up to. I talk to gim some, and he says good things about Florida."

Two other SEC schools round out his top five.

"South Carolina is pretty close to home, and they say they have a big need for defensive ends. I don't know as much about Auburn except that they have been winning lately. I want to visit both of those schools this summer."

Houston, who showed off a 35-inch vertical leap and ran the short shuttle in 4.37 seconds at the Athens NIKE Camp, plans to base his decision on one primary factor.

"Academics. I'm going to go where I can graduate and get a good education. Football will take care of itself."

No team in his top five stands out.

"Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, South Carolina and Auburn are all even. I'll make my commitment sometime before my senior season starts."

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