Wolfpack Pushes for Howard

Hanahan's Marcus Howard, once considered a Clemson lock, said Saturday that the N.C. State Wolfpack made a huge jump for his services on his official visit last weekend. Howard talks more about that visit, and his big performance yesterday, in this report.

If you haven't had the opportunity to see Hanahan linebacker Marcus Howard in person, it's too late.

The senior finished out his high school career yesterday on the gridiron by being named the South's defensive MVP in the North-South All-Star game held in Myrtle Beach. He ended the game with 8 total tackles and a quarterback sack.

The game itself was important, but the week leading up to the game is what a lot of players generally remember years down the line. For Howard, it was no different.

"Last week was great, we ate at the NASCAR cafe and the Hard Rock Cafe. We were playing a lot of NCAA 2003 back the hotel which was cool," said Howard. "I got to hang out with Syvelle Newton, Maurice Howard, and Tremaine Billie and we all had a good time."

When asked which plays he thought propelled him to the MVP award, he responded, "The sack that I had, I think it was about an 8-yard loss. That play there showed my true speed my ability to get to the quarterback," said Howard.

Howard, who is the brother of current Clemson defensive end J.J. Howard, has been with two favorites now for quite some in the Clemson Tigers and the Georgia Bulldogs.

You can now officially add one more school to the mix- the N.C. State Wolfpack.

"I'd have to say that N.C. State is definitely up there too. Coach Portee is a nice fellow and he showed me the ropes around N.C. State this past weekend, and then I met the players and they showed me the defensive scheme and I think I could fit in there," said Howard.

Howard visited the Pack back on December 6th, and he's also set with a visit to Clemson on January 10th and Georgia. South Carolina has offered too, but interest appears to be low from Howard's perspective.

The senior linebacker summed up his recruitment nicely when he said that "N.C. State has now moved up with Georgia and Clemson. Not above, just even."

Howard is being recruited to Clemson to play as the "whip" in John Lovett's defense, and it's no wonder why. He has the speed and playmaking ability that the coaching staff needs out of a quick linebacker, yet he's also fundamentally sound.

Most experts have gone ahead with the assumption that he'll come to Clemson simply because his brother is there, but don't bank on it just yet.

"It doesn't make a difference, but it makes it hard because everybody would like to play with another family member. At the same time, everybody needs to do what they need to do to get to the next level. I'm going to have to sit down and think more about it," said Howard.

CUTigers Notes:
While Howard won't list the Tigers as his favorite, Clemson still will likely wind up being the team to beat in the end. Howard said that "where he feels most comfortable" with the players and the coaches is where he'll likely end up.

Knowing the relationship with him and his brother, it's hard to imagine that won't be at Clemson. Once again, the all important official visit on January 10th will be huge. Stay tuned.

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