Howard Makes Two
A quarterback is only as good as his offensive line.
Ole Miss landed a little of each on Wednesday.
But a few hours after the Rebels picked up a commitment from East Mississippi Community College quarterback Chad Kelly, a four-star prospect who led the Lions to a national championship on Sunday, they secured a pledge from Michael Howard, a three-star offensive lineman by way of Green Cove Springs, Fla.
Howard, rated the No. 116 offensive tackle by Scout.com, is listed at 6-foot-6, 248 pounds. He held offers from, among others, Florida, Maryland, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Missouri.
“Howard is a lean tackle with good feet and balance,” Chad Simmons, National Recruiting Analyst for Scout.com, said. “A former tight end, so he’s athletic. Still needs to add a significant amount of weight to be ready to compete at the next level.
“He knows how block and really fires off the ball well. I really like his fire and intensity on the field. He likes to compete, likes to win battles and he’s a prospect who’s better than his offer list may lead some to think.”
Howard starred for Clay High School, where he led the Blue Devils to a 10-2 record this season. He becomes the fourth offensive lineman committed to the Rebels for the 2015 recruiting class, joining four-star prospects Javon Patterson and Drew Richmond, as well as three-star Alex Givens.
Ole Miss returns all five of its starting offensive linemen off a team that finished 9-3 in 2014, including a 5-3 mark in Southeastern Conference games. The Rebels, ranked No. 9 in the College Football Playoff Rankings, will face No. 6 TCU in the playoff-tie-in Peach Bowl Dec. 31.
The additions of Howard and Kelly give Ole Miss 17 total commitments. Kelly, in his only season at EMCC following a transfer from Clemson, threw for 3,906 yards and 47 touchdowns. He added 446 yards and four scores on the ground.
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