WR Steven Howard from Olympic High School in Charlotte, NC proved over the summer and during the 2006 season that he was one of the most polished wide-outs in the state for the class of 2007. At 6-2, 185 pounds, Howard showed tremendous natural ability at receiver with impressive route-running skills and solid hands. Those attributes led to an early NC State offer and a subsequent commitment from Howard to the Pack last April.
While Howard's commitment to the Pack never wavered, even through a coaching change during the off-season, understandably, the three-star prospect had concerns about his place in the Tom O'Brien system at NC State. Those concerns were put to rest when Howard made an official visit to State this past weekend.
"The trip was great and I loved it," said Howard. "I got in late Friday night because of a basketball game so we didn't get to do much then. But on Saturday we visited the campus, toured the locker room and got to see a lot of the school.
"We spent a lot of time checking out the academics and that part is real good. When I get there, they have the freshmen check in every day to make sure you've got all your work and books. So, I know I'll be taken care of."
While he spent most of the year being recruited by the old staff at NC State, it didn't take long for Howard to take a liking to coach O'Brien and his assistants. Based on O'Brien's history at Boston College, Howard felt like playing for him was an added bonus to his commitment to NC State.
"Actually, being able to play for coach O'Brien is a plus for me," said Howard. "Coach Amato was a good coach but coach O'Brien is a good coach, too. I like my position coach, coach Bible. He's an offensive guy and he wants to throw it around. He told me that he's going to push me to be the best I can be and help prepare me for the next level. I don't know yet if I'll redshirt or not. We didn't really talk about it. I mean, I want to play but if I have to redshirt, I'm not going to pout about it."
As a junior, Howard caught 43 passes for 642 yards and six touchdowns. In 2006, Howard caught ten touchdown passes and earned an invitation to the Shrine Bowl held last December. Howard plans to enroll at NC State in July.
Analyst Quote #1: "Wide receiver Steven Howard has all the tools to be a dominant player. At 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Howard dominated the smaller cornerbacks in the air and on the ground while creating separation on good, crisp routes while using the Michael Irvin Method of pushing off." -- Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Miller Safrit
Shrine Bowl Evaluation: "Steven Howard is a natural pass-catcher and possibly the smoothest of the four receivers. Very fluid in his movement into and out of his cuts, able to make catches in traffic and a brilliant receiver on the edges along the sideline. Body control is a key asset for his game. Listed at 6-3, maybe an inch shorter and certainly thin but able to add a good amount of size to his game. Deceptive speed, but still going to be a possession and red zone receiver." -- Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Miller Safrit
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Charlotte (NC) Olympic Wide Receiver Steven Howard