Nov 24, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers mascot Smokey IX during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Neyland Stadium. Smokey IX is retiring after this game. Tennessee won by a score of 37 to 17. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Vols Offer Five-Star LB John Houston

Nov 24, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers mascot Smokey IX during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Neyland Stadium. Smokey IX is retiring after this game. Tennessee won by a score of 37 to 17. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee, who had a fantastic haul of linebackers in their 2014 recruiting class, offered stud 2015 inside-linebacker John Houston on Wednesday.

Houston is a 6’3″/211 lb five-star recruit from Gardena, CA (Junipero Serra).

247Sports rates Houston as the fourth best player in the state of California and the 16th overall player in the nation.

Even though the Vols brought in some super-talented linebackers in 2014, they’re still a long way from where they need to be on defense.

From a speed standpoint, Houston would be an enormous help.

He would also be a big help in the tackling aspect of the game. The Vols struggled in that area last season and it will likely be an issue in 2014, based on what we saw in the spring.

Obviously it will be a long shot for Tennessee to land Houston.

USC’s Tee Martin, along with Alabama’s Lane Kiffin and Kevin Steele (all guys with UT connections) are all going hard after Houston.

In addition to USC and Alabama, Houston also holds offers from Florida, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Oregon, among others.

For more on John Houston and Vols recruiting, make sure to follow us on Twitter @AllforTennessee

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