"They're not only getting a good football player, but they are getting a better kid," Howard says. "There will never be a discipline issue with D.J. He's hard working. He's just a very well-mannered kid. He's just a winner. He's going to do something to win a game for you.
"Last year we got down right to the end of the game against Saks and he came to the sideline and said ‘give me the ball'. He had a broken foot at the time. We give him the ball and he runs it down to the five. We kick a field goal to win the game. He's that kind of kid.
"We've had D.J. around here since he was in the eighth grade. He played junior high for us and played some on the varsity as an eighth grader. He started as a freshman and as a matter of fact he had 150 yards rushing in his first game against Weaver as a freshman. I don't know of a game that he's had less than 100 yards rushing when he's been healthy. Last year in our three playoff games he had right at 600 yards in those three games. What makes him special is that he doesn't miss practice and he's at every workout. He doesn't come there to get through the workout, he comes to get better."
A player that lines up at running back for Lincoln as well as safety, Howard can also return kicks and could do a number of different things on the next level including possibly wide receiver because of his good hands. Coach Howard notes that's one of the things that makes his senior to be a special player.
"He has returned several kicks for touchdowns," Coach Howard notes. "We don't put him back on punt returns because that's a little hazardous right there and we need him to do that ‘I' for us.
"Nothing against the kids at Auburn but he can play with those guys down there," he adds. "I watched them last spring two or three times and he can play. He ran a 4.38 a couple of times at a camp this year and that was after a three-hour practice. He can play at that level there's no question about that. It's just where they play him."
One of the things that is impressive about Howard is the way he's handled the recruiting process. A very reserved kid anyway, Howard has taken numerous visits to school during the spring and summer to check out his favorites. Coach Howard says that's just how he was raised and another positive he brings to the table.
"He's looked at it real good," Coach Howard says. "He's been real conscientious to the other coaches and respectful. I think the people that don't get him are going to be pleased with the way he's handled it and kind of root for him. I'm glad he's at Auburn, but I would be glad wherever he went. I'm a D.J. Howard fan more than anything else."