Howard Planning Official Visit to Auburn

A defensive line prospect from the state of Florida says he plans to take an official visit to AU.

Orlando, Fla.--On April 4, 2006 at the University of Florida Junior Day, defensive end Jay Howard told the Gators that he planned to play his college football in Gainesville as UF"s first verbal commitment for the 2007 signing class.

This weekend, however, the 6-4, 250-pound two-sport standout from Jones High School says he plans to take an official visit to Auburn.

Howard says he is still committed to the Gators, but adds, "Right now I am just looking around to make sure I am making the right decision." He adds that Auburn and Florida are the only two colleges he plans to take official visits to although he has offers from teams around the country.

The big defensive end notes that he likes Florida's style of play on defense, the coaches and the opportunity for early playing time.

He also says he is impressed with Coach Tommy Tuberville's Tigers. "I like the tradition of Auburn," he says. "They are good year in and year out. Coach (Terry) Price is a nice guy, a very good coach and I just like their program. They are headed in the right direction."

Auburn, which finished eighth and ninth in the major polls, was the only team to defeat the national champion Gators this past season. Adding another defensive end, who is a good pass rusher, is a high priority for this recruiting class.

"My pass rushing is the best part of my game," says Howard, who had 13 sacks this past season.

Price, who coaches defensive ends for the Tigers, is recruiting the Jones High star. Howard notes that Price was at the stadium for Jones' regular season finale in the senior's most memorable game of the season when Howard was filling in at running back. "I scored the winning touchdown on a run with a minute left and that was a lot of fun," he says. "Coach Price was there watching it."

Jay Howard

Howard, who played in the Max Emfinger All-Star Game in Shreveport, La., after his senior football season, is working in his visit to Auburn around his basketball schedule. He averaged a double-double last year and is doing it again as a senior with averages of 14 points and 10 rebounds at center.

Howard says he has offers from Division I basketball programs Jacksonville University and Savannah State, but notes he plans to concentrate on his other sport. "I am better in football than in basketball and there is no doubt about it," he says.

However, he has had more success team-wise in basketball. Jones High School is the defending 3A state champion. "My dad is the coach of our basketball team," he says. "We are trying to repeat and I am trying to go out on a high note my last year playing for my dad. We have only lost one conference game and we are seeded number one in our district. Hopefully, we will make it back to state."

Howard says he is an honor student and is looking forward to checking out the academic situation on his visit to Auburn. "Education is very important to me," he says. "I want to make sure they have everything I need for the major. I am leaning to communications as my major."

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