Deadline nears for Justin Houston decision

The deadline for underclassmen to enter the NFL draft is Saturday, which means the clock is ticking for Georgia outside linebacker Justin Houston’s decision.

Of the Georgia juniors who said they would seriously consider the draft, Houston is the only one who hasn’t publicly declared his intentions.

Wide receiver A.J. Green announced he is forgoing his final season at UGA to enter the draft, in which he is widely expected to be a top-five pick. But cornerback Brandon Boykin and offensive linemen Cordy Glenn and Trinton Sturdivant decided to bypass the draft and return for their senior seasons.

Houston, who led the SEC in sacks this past season,  is ranked as the draft’s No. 25 prospect by Scout.com.

It would be a surprise if Houston passes up the draft, although Georgia coach Mark Richt has made the point that Houston — like the other Georgia juniors aside from Green — could improve his draft stock (and thus his eventual NFL payday) by returning for his senior season.

Ten SEC underclassmen had declared for the draft through Thursday night, according to a list posted on the conference’s official website: Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama; Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama; Julio Jones, WR, Alabama; Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas; Cam Newton, QB, Auburn; Will Hill, DB, Florida; A.J. Green, WR, Georgia; Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky; Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU; and Tori Gurley, WR, South Carolina. UPDATE: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley added his name to the list today.

249 comments Add your comment

Trojan

January 14th, 2011
10:07 am

I would not blame Houston for leaving but he could make a special senior at UGA.

maddawg

January 14th, 2011
10:14 am

agreed trojan

BG

January 14th, 2011
10:15 am

Come on back Houston. The DAWGS need you!!

Buckhead Dawg

January 14th, 2011
10:15 am

Can we make Caleb King declare? Nevermind that he wouldn’t get drafted.

Caleb King = Jasper Sanks. Let’s cut bait and move on.

Mdawg

January 14th, 2011
10:15 am

Hard to say – it would be great to have him – but understand the draw of NFL money and lifestyle – Justin, best of luck! We’d love to have ya

BG

January 14th, 2011
10:15 am

$cam Newton is going pro??? What a shocker!!!!

leedawg

January 14th, 2011
10:16 am

Does anyone remember when Georgia had less talent but were superior in conditioning and heart? They would hang around until the 4th quarter then win! Strength and conditioning is the biggest problem I saw this year. They kicked Auburns butt for 1 and a half quarters then just ran out of gas. It happened over and over this year!

TK

January 14th, 2011
10:17 am

If we can keep Houston and pick up a couple of JUCO transfers. We could have the best D-Line in the country.

RiffRaff

January 14th, 2011
10:17 am

Hope he stays another year.

Destin Dawg

January 14th, 2011
10:17 am

I think he would be best advised in stay in school IF it means he would finish his degree…. UGA Dawgs will have a much better season.. with our improved strength and conditioning program…. he could improve his draft stock for sure.. Go Dawgs !!!!

Buckshot

January 14th, 2011
10:18 am

Jasper was better than Caleb king!

Bernie Matt

January 14th, 2011
10:21 am

We need to also cut bait with Longo and Vasser! These 2 haven’t done a thing since arriving on campus 3 years ago and 2 years ago, respectively!

MassDawg

January 14th, 2011
10:22 am

I guess Cam will be taking a “pay-cut” by going pro!!!

Bulldawg Richie

January 14th, 2011
10:23 am

Stay! Coach Richt’s job is on the line. Losing Houston would be a huge blow to the defense. Look at all the players Alabama is losing. Auburn loses Newton and probably Fairley. That’s their offense and defense.

Bernie Matt

January 14th, 2011
10:24 am

Forgot to mention Tanner Strickland as well! What a waist of 3 scholarships!

ugadawg2005

January 14th, 2011
10:24 am

I thought Walsh was considering going pro? Did he announce a decision?

BBDAWG

January 14th, 2011
10:25 am

I personally think that Houston is the most overrated player in the SEC. HAve you ever watched him persue from the back side? Ever a tackle made because of speed and agressiveness. Never! Only tackles made basically fall in his lap..As for sacks, could double is numbers if had any sence of urgency. He pesues back side as if every play is a reverse.

georgia87

January 14th, 2011
10:25 am

One of the things that NCAA needs to address (should they ever get around to actually enforcing their rules) is oversigning. Just read on Stewart Mandel’s QnA that the teams that signed the most players over the last four years was…Alabama and Auburn. Huh. How about that. Georgia refuses to do that, which I applaud, but the playing field is not level. Not that the NCAA gives a rip. No money is on the line here, so maybe they’ll actually care about kids that get deceived by “adults”.

Nashdawg

January 14th, 2011
10:25 am

Agreed Leedawg. That really started to decline in a big way after 07. 07 was the end of the 04 class and I think those boys had the mentally to go into the weight room without someone pushing them to take it to another level. It seems from the reports we have received the boys since then have not kept up and it shows. I have met Van Hal a couple of times and he is a nice man but maybe these boys need a kick in the romp to get it going. Hopefully, that will take place now.

Dawg_Mike

January 14th, 2011
10:25 am

Hang in there Cecil. The draft is in April. The contract and signing bonus will come sometime over the summer. Do you need a lon to float you until that first check comes ?

Dawg_Mike

January 14th, 2011
10:27 am

DIT

January 14th, 2011
10:35 am

How about our kickers? Are they going pro? Anyone hear?

mark

January 14th, 2011
10:37 am

bernie matt is tide roll he never lets a blog pass without blaming something on the few white players on the UGA football team

EDawg71

January 14th, 2011
10:40 am

How about we as the “DawgNation” NEVER declare a RB “the next Hershel Walker” until he’s actually shown something for 2 full seasons? This was said about Jasper Sanks, Caleb King, and even Danny Ware (after he had like 4 REALLY good games). I don’t want to hear how Isaiah Crowell would be the next Hershel Walker. Come on people!

EDawg71

January 14th, 2011
10:43 am

DIT, neither of our kickers are going pro.

Willl

January 14th, 2011
10:43 am

IF Houston is planning to comeback to UGA, he better get his tail in class. He has not attended the first two days of class even though his name is on the class roll.

He will withdraw from school after announcing today that he will make himself available for the 2011 NFL Draft.

DIT

January 14th, 2011
10:44 am

EDawg71 – Thanks!

Skitty Fritty

January 14th, 2011
10:45 am

Willl:
Where do you get your information? I was told classes in Athens did not resume till yesterday at 11 AM due to the ice so how could he have missed two days if class wasn’t in session?

EDawg71

January 14th, 2011
10:46 am

DIT, search for Walsh’s comments. He said “no way I’m going out like this”. THAT is the kind of DAWGS we need. Too bad our kicker seems to have the most passion. Although I believe Murray has that mentality as well.

Skitty Fritty

January 14th, 2011
10:46 am

I for one am shocked that Cam Newton is leaving early!

rincon dawg

January 14th, 2011
10:46 am

neither of the two kickers are going anywhere they just wanted to see where their stock was is all.

jackyldo

January 14th, 2011
10:49 am

#25 is not worth what the top 10 picks are and another season you might be a top 10 — a few more juniors declare might not even be a first rounder. Although you’d look good next to Spikes with the Pats.

DIT

January 14th, 2011
10:50 am

@EDawg71

Could not agree more. CMR needs to recruit players with that same mentality! The difference in the team would be day and night! I think it’s called PRIDE! Yes, I think Murray does have that edge as well.

UGA Advocate

January 14th, 2011
10:51 am

We just need to WIN, and that starts with getting in our in-state talent. Oh yeah…and moving Bobo (booboo) back to QB coach.

DawginLex

January 14th, 2011
10:52 am

Houston is a victim of our sorry S&C program. He needs to stay in school and work his butt off under Joe T. Get up to about 265 with 20 pounds of muscle and increase his 40 speed.

Then you are talking top 10 pick and big $$$$$$$$$$$$

rx-dawg

January 14th, 2011
10:54 am

Hell, all of UGA’s campus needs to get their stuff together…everyone has missed the first 3-1/2 days. What has college come too…do all those chem majors think they are going pro too?

Felix Millan

January 14th, 2011
10:55 am

Who saw the shocker that SCAM was going pro? I thought he was the highest paid QB in the SEC this year.

Addicted to Viagra

January 14th, 2011
10:56 am

Who gives a crap either way.

DIT

January 14th, 2011
11:01 am

I think Houston is good, but I just don’t see him being a 1st round choice. Next year, with hard work, his stock should soar! I don’t get why he would even consider going pro. Of course, unless his grades are in the crapper then it’s an easy escape for him.

I with people on must keep the in-state talent in GA. Kudos to Bama, they have come in and taken some real good talent. Winning solves it all! Trying to figure out what next season team will do is like throwing a dart blind folded. No one knows! It’s the 1st time in CMR’s tenure that I have absolutely no confidence in a UGA team going into the following season. I don’t care how many 4-5 star recruits we get next month. Only 2 at the most will be able to make an impact. If UGA does not win 10 games or more, yes that includes beating UF, Boise and SC, CMR is history!
I hope he does it because it’s a mess trying to change HC’s, but nothing is there that gives me confidence in UGA being in the SEC CG….. Please prove me wrong!

Papadawg

January 14th, 2011
11:03 am

Does anybody really care what the kickers are going to do

AltamahaDawg

January 14th, 2011
11:04 am

That’s not what cut bait means.

bwkdawg

January 14th, 2011
11:07 am

Hopefully JH taking this long is a good sigh I’d sure like to see that defense next year with him rushing the passer and Jenkins blowing up the middle I think it would be outstanding. I think we would have the best defense in the conference that LB core would also be tremendous with Samuel and jones and the secondary with boykin coming back sanders cummings on the other side had and outstanding first year Olgetree will be much better although I worry a little bit about Rambo but I think there will be some competition for that spot next year from some of these outstanding freshmen coming in so he will feel more pressure to perform, also he will have had more time in the system to better understand his duties. I think a lot of people will be very surprised.

DIT

January 14th, 2011
11:08 am

@Papadawg
___
Just have to say yes because in a close game it’s nice to know that a good punter can stick inside the 10 yard line. Also, 2 seconds left in a game if we need a 51 yarder you want someone to be able to stick in there.
The kicking game has a lot to do with field possession. Just my opinion.

bwkdawg

January 14th, 2011
11:11 am

@DIT I agree

ugamsudawg

January 14th, 2011
11:13 am

I thought Cam was already a pro

Trojan

January 14th, 2011
11:15 am

Did’t Cam turn pro last year?

DIT

January 14th, 2011
11:17 am

I heard that Cam is AJ’s agent!

EDawg71

January 14th, 2011
11:18 am

Papadawg, ask Tech how important a kicker can be. Their “Blair Miss Project” was painful against us.

NCDawgfan

January 14th, 2011
11:19 am

Losing Houston would actually be a bigger loss than losing Greene. Being thin at linebacker and inexperienced with the new defense makes him far more valuable. Potentially getting a few more stops on 3rd downs would make him a bigger keep. Let’s hope for the best!

McDawg

January 14th, 2011
11:22 am

our problem is DEPTH–we need J. Houston and he needs another year in the 3-4