Houston, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker and wide receiver from Clarksburg High in Montgomery County, was first recruited by Terps defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo as a sophomore. When Randy Edsall took over at Maryland last winter, he and offensive line coach Tom Brattan picked up where Sollazzo left off.
On Friday, Houston rewarded Maryland for its consistent pursuit with his commitment.
“It feels really good actually, to have all this weight lifted off my shoulders,” Houston said. “I bonded with every coaching staff member there, just like I knew them from when I was young.”
Houston picked the Terps over offers from East Carolina, Rutgers and West Virginia. Many more Football Bowl Subdivision programs were interested in the Coyotes’ two-way star.“People have expressed interest [in him from] all over the country,” said Clarksburg coach Larry Hurd. “But Stefan pretty much [knew what he wanted] from the first time he stepped on campus. He’s been there several times. He’s real comfortable. His mom will be able to see his games. He’s pumped about that.”
Hurd, who also coached Maryland sophomore linebacker Avery Graham at Clarksburg, welcomed Houston into his program as a 10th-grader. The future Terp immediately claimed a starting role for the Coyotes and never relinquished those duties.
“He’s always been dedicated to the football team,” Hurd said. “He really loves football, enjoys competition and has done a great job since Day 1. … I think he makes really big plays. There’s no one play that sticks out in my mind right now. He’s just very consistent in what he does.”
On the offensive side of the ball, Houston is a big-play wide receiver who currently leads Clarksburg’s league in receptions (21) and receiving yards (414). Houston, who runs a 4.39 40, has caught five touchdown passes and also carried the ball 19 times for 106 yards.
The Maryland coaches, however, took one look at Houston and saw a perfect fit for the STAR linebacker position, which is currently occupied by Kenny Tate.
“They love his athletic ability and what he does on the football field,” Hurd said. “He’s consistent, makes big plays. He’s got great upside and we’re looking forward to getting him there.”
Hurd said the most important thing Houston needs to do before enrolling at College Park next fall is continue to get stronger. That shouldn’t be a problem for the future Terp, who said he intends to bring “hard work, dedication and team chemistry” to Maryland. Hurd is confident his star player will deliver on that vow.
“We’re extremely proud of him,” Hurd said. “We’re happy he’s at the in-state school. It seems like a perfect fit to me.”