DL Enjoyed Calif. Trip

At 6-foot-5 and 285 pounds, Royal Palm Beach, Fla. standout defensive tackle Dave Howell enjoyed his recent trip to California for the CaliFlorida Bowl.

"I had a good time meeting all the other guys that I've been hearing about and getting a chance to play with them," Howell said. "I wish we could have won but things didn't work out."

Howell said he spent a good part of the week trying to convince kids to join him in going to Miami.

"By the end of the week, I counted almost 15 guys that were telling people they're going to Miami," he said. "Of course some of them might not get offers but a lot of guys want to go."

Howell said he really enjoyed playing on a starting defensive line that included a couple possible future teammates.

"Bryan [Pata] proved to me why you and others think he's so good," he said. "He came ready to play and I think he's got a chance to play early at Miami. I also got a chance to hang out with Clifton Dickson. We did really well in practice together and played a good game next to each other. He told me he really likes Miami too."

Howell said the practices leading up to the game were actually more competitive.

"The practices against each other were the best part," he said. "Andrew Bain was doing the same things he's done all year at Ely. He makes you think you can beat him then he just overpowers people. I also liked Jordy Lipsey a lot. He probably was the most aggressive lineman there. He told me he was real close to going to Miami but decided to pick Virginia because he didn't like the atmosphere at Miami."

The standout defensive lineman said he had a chance to watch the Fiesta Bowl on Friday night.

"Me, Bryan, and some other guys were watching it," he said. "I was really mad and sad at the same time. I think they got robbed. But they didn't make the plays when they needed to."

Howell sad he's excited about next year's team.

"I think we'll have a chance to be back in the title game next year," he said. "We're losing a lot of guys but a lot of good players will be stepping in. I think whether or not we can win it all depends on how well next year's quarterback plays because the rest of the team should be really strong."

Howell will be making his visit to UM on January 24, the same weekend Stanley McClover will visit UM.

"Stanley told me it's out of Miami, Florida, and Ohio State," he said. "We're making our Miami visit together."

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