Flashback to fall 2004. Now-sophomore running back Ryan Houston was an up-and-coming star for Charlotte-area Butler High School. Senior football writer David Ely played linebacker for rival Providence High. One brisk autumn night the two met on the football field.
Four years later they reunited on Tuesday afternoon to chat about their past encounter Houston's basketball prowess and more.
David Ely: All right I'm gonna give you a hypothetical. When you were a sophomore in high school playing against Providence High School would you believe it if I told you that I tackled you?
(Editor's note: David Ely is 5-foot-7 155 pounds. Ryan Houston is 6-foot-2 255 pounds.)
Ryan Houston: Yeah 'cause I wasn't really all that good my sophomore year anyway so I can believe that.
DE: Well it happened. … So would you call our encounter the classic example of an unstoppable force vs. the immovable object?
RH: Mmmhmm. You really tackled me?
RH: Oh all right. One-on-one?
DE: Me and another guy but we both got there at the same time. I'd like to think I delivered the first blow. So what kind of odds would you give me to be a walk-on given my success in that one moment?
RH: I would say keep trying. I mean the odds of you coming on this Carolina football team? … I mean I progressed a lot so I don't think you could tackle me now. So I dunno. If you could hit me now I swear you've got a good chance of being on this team.
DE: So you're saying there is a chance?
RH: Yeah (laughs). Slim to none.
DE: On another note your bio says that you were quite the basketball player in high school. Would you say you could hold your own against Greg Little?
RH: Greg Little? I'd dog Greg Little in basketball. I would kill Greg Little. Put that in the freakin' paper. I would dog Greg Little. He'd know it too. If you would talk junk to him he'd know that I would kill him. … He can get four players and I can get four players and I'd bet we'd wipe the floor with him — every time.
DE: In a game of HORSE what's your spot?
RH: My first shot I'll probably try to shoot from half court ‘cause for some reason I can make two out of five.