The Florida Gators will lose an additional member of their defense next season.
Linebacker James Houston announced on Twitter Wednesday that he entered the transfer portal. The redshirt junior from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has been with the program since the 2017 season.
After facing suspension his freshman year due to charges of credit card fraud, Houston totaled 103 total tackles, 52 solo tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and four-and-a-half sacks across his three years on the field.
Houston’s announcement was met with well-wishes from a few of his teammates.
Defensive lineman Zachary Carter quote-tweeted the announcement, writing “This guy right here is a Stud” with a trio of exclamation point emojis afterwards. Linebacker Derek Wingo quoted the tweet as well, adding a pair of hearts followed by the word “Love.”
Running back Iverson Clement, who entered the portal himself Nov. 30, commented “go eat brudda, you know what to do. Now go get it done.”
Houston had his best year in 2019, setting career highs in tackles (38), solo tackles (21), tackles for loss (6) and sacks (3.5) while appearing in all 13 games. He came very close to matching those numbers in four fewer appearances in 2020, with 37 tackles and 20 solo tackles across just nine games.
Pro Football Focus ranked Houston 293rd out of 366 collegiate linebackers last season.
Houston was a three-star prospect in high school, according to 247 Sports. He was ranked as the 43rd outside linebacker prospect in the class and the ninth-best from Florida. He received offers from more than 20 schools, including Clemson, Auburn and LSU.
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