No position on Florida's roster is more bereft of proven depth entering the 2016 season than linebacker, with only cornerback coming even plausibly close. So it makes sense for the Gators to load up on LBs, something they continued to do on Friday night, with the commitment of American Heritage linebacker James Houston, a rising senior, at their Friday Night Lights camp.
Houston's commitment was signaled by a Jim McElwain #ChompChomp and confirmed by half of the Florida recruiting beat writers with access to the Internet shortly thereafter, with Blake Alderman of Rivals winning the first tweet race by moments.
Houston suffered an ACL injury nine days ago, per 247Sports' Ryan Bartow, and will have surgery to repair it soon. He's unlikely to play in the fall as a result, and so Florida is taking a chance on him being able to maintain or improve upon the form he showed as a junior for American Heritage.
That form, though, is fine. Before the first minute of his highlight reel is done, he has a forced fumble, a sack, an interception, and multiple other tackles for loss. The portrait is of a well-rounded linebacker, if not a physically overwhelming one; Houston being 6'1" and around 225 pounds means he has fairly average size for the position, and his speed and quickness do not strike me as more than simply good.
Houston is Florida's second linebacker commit in the 2017 class, joining fellow three-star player Ventrell Miller. He's the Gators' 11th commit overall.