The senior signs to play college football at Utah State

by: DAN BROOD - ON THE DOTTED LINE -- Horizon Christian senior Wyatt Houston, with his parents, siblings and Hawks football coach George Crace by his side, signs a letter of intent to play college football at Utah State.TUALATIN — There may not have been too many dry eyes to be found in the Horizon Christian High School gym.

But there was at least one big smile.

That smile belonged to Horizon Christian senior Wyatt Houston.

And there was a good reason for that smile, as Houston not only signed a national letter of intent to play college football for Utah State University, but he also made school history.

Houston became the first Horizon Christian athlete to sign with a Division I university when he put his name on the dotted line in front of a gathering of friends, family, teammates and coaches during a ceremony held Feb. 6 at the school.

“It’s a dream come true,” Houston said last week prior to signing the letter of intent. “This is something that I dreamt about since I started playing football. This is surreal. It’s going to be a special moment.”

Soon after, Houston, following emotional speeches made by his younger sister, Lainey, his older brother, Cole, and Horizon Christian football coach George Crace, became the first Hawk to sign with a Division I school.

“This was a historic moment for Horizon and for Wyatt,” Crace said after Houston signed the letter of intent. “Now, we’re hoping to see this happen on a regular basis. People see this and say, ‘maybe I can do this, too.’”

Utah State University, located in Logan, Utah, signed the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Houston as a tight end. But, at Horizon Christian, Houston made his mark as a quarterback and linebacker.

As a senior this past fall, Houston completed 125 of 208 pass attempts for 2,056 yards and 32 touchdowns while helping lead Horizon to the state playoffs. He also was the Hawks’ leading rusher on the season with 851 yards and eight TDs on 106 carries.

Houston earned second-team Class 3A All-State honors at quarterback following his senior year.

“I think he could play at quarterback for them,” Crace said. “But he’s perfectly suited to play at tight end. He’s got a large wing span and good hands.”

“Wyatt is a really good athlete that played football, basketball and baseball in high school,” Utah State coach Matt Wells said in a release on the university’s Web site. “He has great hands and ball skills, and we look forward to his development as he transitions to the tight end position.”

Meanwhile, it sounds like Houston doesn’t care where he plays on the field for the Aggies.

“I’m just a football player,” said Houston, who played at H-back for West Linn as a freshman before he transferred to Horizon Christian. “I’ll make plays. I grew up playing everywhere. It’s just a huge honor to sign with a Division I school.”

That wasn’t the only honor for Houston, as Horizon Christian retired his No. 4 jersey, the same number that Cole Houston wore when he played football for the Hawks.

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Wyatt Houston said with a smile. “That’s really special for me and my family.”

Houston will be joining a Utah State team that went 11-2 in the 2012 season, including a 41-15 win over Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

“It’s going to be fun to play for a team on the rise,” Houston said.

But that’s not the only thing that made Utah State the right place for Houston.

“The coaches are great. They’re the best,” he said. “And there’s a family atmosphere there, like here at Horizon. I’m just really happy, because it’s very rarely that do you dream something and then see it happen.”

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