Hayward Howard sets up official with Ole Miss

Hayward Howard (DL, Eastern Arizona CC) - The 6-5 300-pound defensive tackle from Carver HS in New Orleans, has had a bittersweet year.

Hayward Howard was a late academic qualifier out of high school and opted to play for Eastern Arizona CC when his four-year college offers dried up in the waiting process. Then, before he could move out West to pursue his JUCO football career, Katrina hit his home city and his trip was delayed.

“I missed all but five games this year,” said the personable Howard.

But he made the most of it, claiming an amazing “96 tackles” in his five junior college outings.

“I was ready to roll when I got out there. I couldn’t wait. I guess it showed in my play. I was determined to make a mark in the limited time I had because I knew I had to impress college scouts in just five games,” he continued.

Impress he did. Knowing he was now academically qualified and could transfer to a Division 1 school for second semester classes after just one season in JUCO ball, the college scouts came from everywhere.

“I have offers from Oregon, Oregon State, Auburn, Ole Miss, Marshall, Nebraska, Kansas, Kansas State, Tennessee and some others,” said Hayward. “My connection with Ole Miss is through (Rebel RB Coach) Frank Wilson. He’s a great guy.”

Even though JUCO’s who are eligible for mid-semester transfer can start signing with their chosen schools tomorrow, Hayward is in no hurry.

“I just took a visit to Auburn. It went really good. They have a fine program there and have an immediate need, I believe, for young DTs, but I am keeping my options open,” he noted. “My plan is to visit Ole Miss January 5th and then set up something, if I have time, with Oregon State and Tennessee. That’s all I’ll be able to do due to the dead period and the time frame I have to work with.”

What’s he most interested in while looking for a place to ply his football trade?

“I’m just looking for good people to be around, a good staff and the opportunity for early playing time,” closed Hayward, who will have four years to play three at a D-1 school.

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