1-on-1 with D.J. Howard

LINCOLN, Ala. - CUTigers.com talks 1-on-1 with Clemson signee D.J. Howard after his announcement.

RB D.J. Howard Profile

1-on-1 with D.J. Howard: (2:28)

Listen to the press conference: Listen to Audio (17:14)

After trying on an Auburn hat, a Kentucky, and an orange Clemson hat two separate times, Lincoln, Ala. native D.J. Howard pulled out another Clemson hat out of a bag and ultimately signed with the Tigers Wednesday morning at his high school.

CUTigers.com was there live to broadcast the announcement, before catching up with him afterwards for a 1-on-1 interview:

Alabama native D.J. Howard is pictured here just moments after announcing he would sign with Clemson. (Roy Philpott)
What was it like to make this decision, finally, to sign with Clemson?
Howard: I feel like I made the best decision in the end. I feel like I'm going to a school where they care about me. It's a school where they are going to show me a lot of love and support and that was very important.

Was playing running back something that was important to you?
Howard: It was big. Auburn wanted me as an athlete. As a running back I wanted more. That's what I do- I run the ball. I called Clemson and told them I'm interested in y'all. Then Coach Harbison came down here. Coach Powell came down here and then Coach Swinney came to see me a few weeks ago. Coach Swinney is a down-home guy. He's "from 'Bama" as they would say.

How does it feel to finally get this decision behind you?
Howard: It was stressful. I remember nights ... where I'm laying in bed and my head feels like the size of a football field. In the end I thought about it like this - I need to go somewhere where I look at the big picture and where it's going to benefit me in the long run. I had to look at the big picture. It didn't necessarily have to be somewhere I feel comfortable- but somewhere that benefited me more looking at the big picture.

Was this an emotional decision- especially talking with your family afterwards?
Howard: Yeah it was emotional. A lot of people didn't know what was going on. They thought I was going to Auburn. My coach, my best friend Brent Hall - they all knew where I was going. So I told them up front but yeah it was emotional.

What's next for you after this announcement? Will you be running track in the spring?
Howard: I run track every year. I like to compete. I do the 100m, 200m, long jump and the shot-put. I won the state in the 200 and the shot-put and the long jump.

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