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How James Houston dominated his 2021 season at Jackson State

Jackson State podcast “Tiger Talk” joined our podcast to talk about James Houston’s dominant 2021 season and expectations for the Detroit Lions’ sixth-round pick

James Houston... Photo by Charles A. Smith/JSU University Communications/Jackson State University via Getty Images

One of the most intriguing selections the Detroit Lions made during draft weekend was when they picked edge/linebacker James Houston in the sixth round. Houston has one of the most interesting stories when it comes to his journey from college to the pros.

He started out as a linebacker for the University of Florida. However, he failed to crack the starting lineup in three seasons, and decided to transfer to the FCS, where he landed with Jackson State, a Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) school in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).

But here’s the interesting part. Jackson State is coached by NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, and when Houston arrived, he immediately moved from linebacker to edge. And while Houston pushed back at first, it ended up being the best move of his career. Houston BLEW UP, producing 16.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and several game-changing plays in just 13 games—despite landing at Jackson State in June of 2021.

His story is so fascinating that we had to learn more. So we chatted for nearly an hour with our friends from the “Tiger Talk with the 1400 Klub”—a podcast devoted solely to Jackson State sports. You may remember them from our excellent “5 questions” series on Houston.

On Thursday night, both Ken Clark and Nuenzo Phillips joined us to go even deeper on Houston. What’s his personality like? How does he win? How polished is he? Can he make the team? Any chance he plays on defense in 2022?

No one knows Houston better than these two guys, and no one will give you better insight.

Check out the podcast below, or catch a replay on Twitch.

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