Jameis Winston continues his torrid week while Bart Houston cements himself as one of the elite…
Houston Shines at Elite 11, Talks Wisconsin
When Bart Houston took a visit to Wisconsin in April, something happened, in passing, that sealed his commitment. "I hung out with a couple players there and they were mad that a couple young players were wearing their Big Ten championship rings, [a few] freshman redshirts," Houston recalled. "So the older players were like ‘why are you doing that?' And these guys talking were juniors that were ashamed to wear them because they didn't feel like they deserved it, they didn't think they had a big enough role on the team." The story cemented a Badger mentality that Houston (6-4, 200) felt comfortable with, one he thinks he can lead for some time. "If I go there and do well and work my butt off then I can go up there and start for a long time, three or four years maybe." The De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) signalcaller threw 20 touchdowns and had just four interceptions last season. And Houston has been privy to top talent for more than two years, leading his high school to back-to-back California Open Division Bowl titles. But the caliber of 24 guys in this year's Elite-11 competition has been a totally unique experience, one that Houston is loving. "We're all friends- it's great competition. It's really fun getting to know these guys and so many different personalities from all over the nation," Houston said. The main difference Houston noticed among the quarterbacks? Accents. "Actually we were talking about the different accents from all over the nation. Us California boys were like ‘okay we don't have an accent' but the kids down south laugh hella [sic] funny and northern kids say the word ‘hella.' We all have our own niche," Houston joked. While the Elite 11 competition has been a chance for him to make 23 new friends, Houston said he loves his position for the pressure it brings out in people. "I like the fact that I can be the hero when we're winning and I can be the goat when you're losing. I love that it can be either one. I'm striving every day, working to be that hero." As far as recruiting other Badgers go, Houston said he's trying to bring offensive lineman Jordan Diamond from Chicago, Ill., over to Wisconsin along with Amara Darboh, a four-star wide receiver from Des Moines, Iowa. And he's getting dinner next week with Walker Williams, another Wisconsin target. In the meantime-- before Houston becomes a household name around the Big Ten—he plans to keep studying and learn offenses better. "Every two or three weeks I write down every single play in our playbook and script out what every single offensive player is doing and then I go into defensive coverages so it's just writing it down making sure I remember all the stuff." A solid memory is just one of many traits required of a good quarterback. And after attending the Elite 11 event this week, Houston said he plans to be better than ‘good' or ‘great.' He plans to be the best. "It'd be great [to be in the Elite 11] but I'm going for the MVP. Always aim high and you'll fall short, aim for the sky and you'll fall in the clouds. I read that somewhere. But I'm stealing it."
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