Large Lineman Upbeat About AU After Visit

One of the football prospects who took an official visit to check out Auburn comments on his trip to the AU campus.

Thatcher, Ariz.--Haywood Howard says he isn't ready to make a decision on his college choice just yet, but tells Inside the Auburn Tigers that he is seriously considering the Auburn Tigers after an official visit to check out Coach Tommy Tuberville's program.

"Auburn is a beautiful place and I was really impressed," Howard says. "The people there they are very nice. They really treat you right. I had a great visit."

The 6- 4 1/2, 300 pound lineman, who can play both defense and offense, says he plans to take several more visits before making a decision on where he wants to play next season.

A freshman this fall at Eastern Arizona College, a juco program, he says that he plans to move to a Division I team in January.

"Auburn and Southern Cal are in my top two," he says. "The Auburn trip was the best recruiting trip I have had. I have already been to USC for a game and have also visited Michigan State."

Howard originally signed with Michigan State earlier this year, but was a late academic qualifier. By the time he did get eligible to play Michigan State was full so he decided to spend one season in junior college football before moving to the major college level. He is not currently considering the Spartans.

Howard has played one year of junior college football.

He is originally from Carver High in New Orleans, where he won All-State honors. As a senior in high school, he was credited with 115 tackles, 15 tackles for lost yardage, 12 quarterback sacks and three safeties at tackle. He also plays on the offensive line.

Playing defense for the Eastern Arizona College Gila Monsters during the 2005 season, he had 45 solo tackles with six sacks. He will have four years to play three seasons at the Division I level.

"I am in good shape with my grades and I am finished with classes at Eastern Arizona and will be able to transfer in January," Howard says. He says he is likely to visit Ole Miss and Oregon State and possibly Tennessee before making his college choice, noting he is working with his high school coach on that subject.

Commenting on his visit to Auburn, Howard says several things stood out. "I really enjoyed watching football practice," he says. "That was very good. I got a feel for how the coaches coach and the team looks like it is really together. I liked that a lot and I am glad I got to see that.

"I went to a team meeting and that was interesting," he adds. "I also met with people in the business management program, which is what I want to major in. That went really well, too.

"I liked going to the stadium a lot. That was impressive. I loved that stadium. One of the best parts of the trip was hanging out with the players and getting to know them. We played video games and I got to find out they are really good guys."

Like many residents of New Orleans, his life was severely affected by the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina. "My family's house was destroyed," he says. "My mother has gone back to New Orleans and is there with my sister, who is finishing up her senior year in high school. We basically lost about everything we owned so it was really tough."

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