Howard is Down to 4 Schools

Jay Howard was an early recruiting season pledge to the Florida Gators. However, the Jones HS standout, in his desire to ensure that his decision is best suited for him, decided to check out some additional schools. This past weekend, Howard took his last visit to UF and now tells SOR that his final selection will come down to a choice between 4 schools still left standing. Who made the cut?

Jay Howard was Florida's first pledge early this recruiting season. However, the 6-foot-5 and 230-pound sunshine state prospect elected to see some additional places in order to give him an improved perspective on what may be most suitable for him.

Howard, who had been rumored to solidify his pledge to Florida and has even been rumored as a Wake Forest commitment, cleared the air with SOR.

"My final schools are [in no order of preference] Rutgers, Florida, Florida State, and Auburn," stated Howard.

When prompted for a leader and some kind of absolute estimate of how far his leader is ahead of the remaining schools, Howard replied, "Right now, Florida is on top, but I don't want to give a number."

Howard tripped to all four schools making his final cut, but his last trip was to Coach Meyer's Gators this past weekend.

Two of his final schools reside in the SEC, one is in the ACC, and Rutgers is lone the university that lies beyond the southeastern borders. What attracted Howard to Rutgers and how did his interest in the New Jersey school originate?

"What attracted me to Rutgers was Coach Schiano, he's a decent guy and all the coaches up there are decent people. He [Coach Schiano] also runs a defensive scheme that I've played in high school and I like that," said Howard.

Howard took an official visit to Rutgers in mid-December. How did he enjoy his trip?

"It was pretty good. I was talking to Ray Rice and he was telling me that he thinks they're going to be on top for a long time. He was just honest with me, no BS. The players are all down to earth guys, they weren't trying to BS me."

Having completed his five official visits, the coveted DE can now compare his trips between one another.

"Honestly, I think Rutgers was the best visit. I live in the country and I like the city. I want to major in Communications and Rutgers is close to New York City with a lot of opportunities."

Howard, who was hosted by Fr. standout DE George Johnson enjoyed the campus and stadium and was especially impressed by the facilities, remarking that they were "top of the line".

Rutgers Defensive Backs Coach Chris Demarest is Howard's primary recruiter and the Jones HS product spoke highly of their relationship.

"He's a real cool guy. I've been getting very close to him during this recruiting season."

Besides Coach Demarest's efforts, Rutgers Football Head Coach Greg Schiano has also been involved, paying Howard an in-home visit last week.

"Coach Schiano really hit on some key points that got me really interested. There are a lot of alumni from Rutgers with backgrounds in communications that could help me after my degree." Howard went on to talk about RU's impressive graduation rate, which will also be a major contributing factor in his final decision.

How long will fans be waiting to hear Howard's final choice?

"I'm gonna decide on signing day. It's gonna be between the four schools."

Matei may be reached at

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