Cornerback Jordan Houser has been a standout in a talented Fairborn (Ohio) High defensive backfield the past two seasons and now his work is starting to draw college attention. The 5-11, 175-pound prospect already has one scholarship offer, but is still trying to process the fact that he has the opportunity to play college football for free if he takes care of his business off the field.
"Talking to Jordan I think he is a little surprised at the interest he's got and the fact that he has the opportunity to get a full scholarship," Fairborn head coach Roy Thobe said. "With that he is just talking to everybody and enjoys talking to everybody."
While the college attention may come as a surprise to Houser, it has not surprised Coach Thobe who has seen and coached Division 1 athletes before and knows the talent his up-and-coming senior possesses.
"He is probably one of the most athletic kids. He's real smooth, he's got great hips and he's got great body control whether it be on the defensive side of the ball or offensive side of the ball," Coach Thobe said. "The thing I keep hearing from (coaches) coming in is he makes a lot of plays on the defensive side of the ball in terms of creating the turnover and finishing the turnover.
"The last two years I've had two safeties both go Division 1 and he's just a little smoother in his transition into the turn and coming out of breaks. When you watch film it looks like it is effortless."
Houser's statistics testify to his ability to be disruptive on the defensive side of the football. In the past two years as a starter for Coach Thobe, Houser has totaled 11 interceptions. That type of production has attracted the attention of schools in several conferences.
"Most of the MAC schools have all come in. A couple of them are still on the slate to come in. West Virginia stopped by, UConn has stopped by and Michigan State has come in," Thobe reported. "I'm sure I'll probably get some Big Ten and Big East schools come in. Eastern Michigan has offered him. They are the only one right now."
More teams may be willing to come across with offers as the process goes on for Houser if the young playmaker is able to get things on track with his academic resume.
"His biggest holdup right now is he's got some academic work to do," Thobe said. "Everybody's talked and is going to see where he is at the end of this semester. His senior year is very feasible because he only needs to take three classes to fill out his core and he will be taking three repeat classes to take off D's from the transcripts. It's there for him, he just has to perform there."
Evaluating the teams showing interest in him is a task Houser will start to approach come this summer through summer camps and unofficial visits. At this point, though, according to Coach Thobe, Houser is viewing everyone equally.
"I think he obviously has his favorite schools, but in the recruiting process I try to eliminate that," Thobe said. "You don't pick a school because it's your childhood favorite, you pick a school because it is the best fit. We'll start getting him on some campuses so he can meet the coaches and start seeing what type of environment he wants to be around whether that's urban or more of a non-urban school.
"I like to know come the end of spring who's really interested in him and who's not so he gets value for his dollar. I want to put him in a place where they are seriously inquiring about him and willing to offer if he comes there and does what they expect him to do."
Houser started running track for the first time this year and has already shown promise in that sport. He is long jumping over 19 feet and is one of the top legs on his 4x100 meters and 4x200 meters relay teams.