- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Dublin (Ohio) Scioto fullback William Houston has been doing it all for his high school team this year, and Big Ten teams are taking notice.
Houston, who already has a Bowling Green offer, has around 1,500 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns this season through seven games. Those numbers have drawn the interest of Illinois, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Vanderbilt. Most of them are looking at him as a preferred walk-on, but some are still evaluating his senior film and could offer.
If it came down to going to Bowling Green as a walk-on or a BCS program, Houston is not sure which way he would go.
“That’s a tough one,” he said. “I talked with my coach about that. He was saying that’s free school, paid by a school that wants you. But I have no idea.”
If Houston goes the walk-on route, Ohio State appears to be in as good a position as any to get the country’s No. 2 fullback. His father played for the Buckeyes and would like to see Houston follow his footsteps but will stand behind whichever decision he makes.
A scholarship has not been ruled out by the Ohio State staff either.
“Right now I’m trying not to think too much about it but that’d definitely be an option considering the coaches are talking to me about earning a scholarship after spring ball,” said Houston, who will graduate Dec. 21 and enroll early.
Although Houston does not have a scholarship from either team, he could be in the middle of yet another Michigan-Ohio State battle. The Michigan staff called Houston’s coach Tuesday afternoon and said it also would like him as a walk-on.
Michigan and Ohio State both like Houston as a fullback while Michigan State believes 5-foot-11, 231-pound senior can play running back. Illinois, Louisville and Vanderbilt are talking to Johnson about a hybrid role that could include some H-back.
Penn State is in close contact with Houston and even went to a game recently. He speaks with assistant Charlie Fisher regularly and said a coach came by his high school during the day as well.
“They’re telling me to continue what I’m doing and in time it’ll come and to stay patient,” he said.
“A lot of schools are saying the same thing.”