Lamarr Houston showed up at the Combine 305 and cut, then burned through the forty. It's his mix of athleticism, size, motor and awareness that makes him such an attractive prospect. And slowly, as I work through these, Houston is separating himself from the pack of second-tier tackle prospects.
Conservative play calling couldn't stop Houston from flashing his excellent potential.
1. 1st and 10 at ALA 19 Mark Ingram rush for 2 yards to the Alab 21.
LDE, 5-tech, 3 down linemen. Houston is initially blown back by a double team, but anchors and splits, tackling Ingram after a modest gain.
2. 2nd and 8 at ALA 21Trent Richardson rush for a loss of 4 yards to the Alab 17.
LDT, 3-tech, 4 down linemen. Strikes Barrett Jones hard, swats him away but gets squeezed as the line shifts left. Does not factor.
3. 3rd and 12 at ALA 17 Trent Richardson rush for a loss of 2 yards to the Alab 15.
This play is so good, I feel a need to enumerate its awesome moments.
- The defensive line is aggressively postured for pass rush. The ends are playing 5-tech and the tackles are playing 3-tech. Houston is playing 3-tech on the defensive left. There is one downside to this defense, its middle is exposed to a surprise draw.
- Houston gets an excellent jump, perhaps indicating his jump is more selective, but nevertheless quick when it needs to be. Right guard Jones pulls to block the middle. This is a clue.
- Houston shows a fine rip move, one I had yet seen from him, and rips up and pushes off from right tackle Drew Davis.
- Alabama runs a draw to Richardson.
- Houston settles in the backfield, sees Richardson, cuts hard right, raps and swats the ball from Richardson's arms. He forces a near fumble before Richardson can pin the loose football against his thigh, and tackles the five star recruit for a loss.
(Three and out without a yard gained)
1. 1st and 10 at ALA 20 Greg McElroy sacked by Sergio Kindle for a loss of 10 yards to the Alab 10.
LDT, 3-tech, 4 down linemen. Houston is double teamed off the snap, briefly follows play action to his right and falls after tangling his legs. Kindle stays at home and sacks McElroy during his rollout.
2. 2nd and 20 at ALA 10 Trent Richardson rush for 5 yards to the Alab 15.
LDE, 3/4-tech, 3 down linemen. Good jump off the snap, forces lineman back, and impacts the run stringing Richardson wide right, but misses an arm tackle.
RDT, 3-tech, 3 down linemen. It's a wide receiver screen with the receiver cutting back towards the middle of the field and behind the offensive line. Houston is initially double teamed, but actually has all three interior linemen around him. He reads the play, separates, lunges towards Maze but is tackled by a flagrant but uncalled hold. Maze jukes back dodging Houston and falls to the turf. College rules, he's down. Houston jumps up and motions "flag".