July 30, 2009

Houston talks about his summer

Minutes before the G-Day game back in April, offensive lineman Kolton Houston chose to follow in both his father's and his former teammate Dallas Lee's footsteps and attend the University of Georgia. However, Houston is also a leader of his own, returning as a senior to lead a Buford team that has won back-to-back state championships. UGASports caught up with the future Bulldog to see how his summer has gone since he became the third Georgia commitment back in April.

How has your summer been so far Kolton?

"My summer has been great. I am 100% healthy now, full steam ahead and practice has been great. We have been doing 1on1's against MLK and Washington."

Can you feel the difference in your physical development since last year?

"I have gotten so much faster this summer, and gained weight and speed. This time last summer when we weighed in for fitness testing I weighed 251-pounds and ran a 4.94, this year I am at 283-pounds and I ran a 4.86. I also ran a 4.45 shuttle."

So you are bigger, and faster, what about stronger?

"I am a lot stronger, I am second in bench press, and I just need 15 more pounds to beat Dallas' record. I need to do it quickly, since I do not have much time left."

Not much time left?

"Well I only have one more semester since I am graduating early. "

Oh, when did you make that decision?

"At first I was taking extra class my sophomore year to graduate early, but then I changed my mind and said I wanted to finish out my high school career. I told myself the only way I would graduate early was if I went to Georgia, since it is only 40 minutes away from my house. Then when I chose Georgia, I said I wanted to go ahead with it, and then seeing Dallas and how it is working out for him, which just makes me want to do it even more."

You got the chance to camp and workout at Dawg Night under your future offensive line Coach Stacy Searels, how was the experience for you?

"I liked it a lot. He is exactly what I expected. He is a great coach and above all he is a great person, so I think me and Brent are going to have a lot of fun playing for him."

That was one of the highlights of the camp, seeing you and Brent compete with each other, you guys were really getting after it.

"Yeah I liked that a lot. He and I were joking around the whole time because we both come from running teams. Since we never pass the ball, our pass protection was a little rusty in the 1-on-1's. We had a good time; Coach Searels was giving us a hard time saying we were run blockers."

Your versatility is something that is seen as an asset in that you have the ability to play any position on the offensive line, and play it well. Has the staff at Georgia spoken with you about how they see you fitting in the roster?

"Coach Searels admitted that although he has no idea if this is how it will end up, but the plan is when I get there, so immediately start honing my pass blocking skills. So I will start out at guard, and then when I improve in that area, then they move me to tackle."

How do you feel about that?

"It does not matter whether I play guard or tackle, I don't care. Just put me in there and I will play."

So this time next year you will be competing for playing time on a line with other young talents such as Austin Long, Chris Burnette, Brent Benedict, and your teammate Dallas Lee. Have you begun thinking about that yet?

"Brent and I were actually standing together on the 50-yard line, and that was the first time it hit for both of us that we are actually going to play here. That was pretty cool that we will be competing and pushing each other to get ready for a national championship run in less than a year."

What was it like competing against the caliber of players during the camp?

"It was good because in high school, you might see one really kid a game, but it was all division 1 athletes on the field that night. It was great to compete against some of the best in the nation. I thought I held my own pretty well against them."

"It has been a great experience, but most of all it has been relaxing to know that I was able to get the recruiting process over with. I just get excited every time I think about when I get to go play there. It is an indescribably great feeling really."

How have the people in the community reacted to your decision to play for the home town Bulldogs?

"I will be walking in the mall or around the school, and everyone is still saying how they cannot believe I am going to play for Georgia. Everyone seems just as happy as I am, so it is fun."

Buford is a team of tradition, with talented seniors it seems like every year. Now it is your class's turn to try and win a championship, how does that feel?

"Actually it just hit me two weeks ago. When you come in as a freshman, you never think about when you are going to be that senior. But this is my team, it is my team to be the It feels good to know you have 60 other players who look up to you, and it makes me play better knowing that they are watching me, and learning from how I do. I like it a lot and am looking forward to being part of a school that has won 6 state championships, which I believe will be a record for a decade."

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