Video Breakdown OL Hayden Howerton
COMMITTED TO SMU OVER: Howerton flipped from Rice on Nov. 29, 2016. He held offers from Army, California, Colorado State, Houston, Kansas, Memphis, Nebraska, Wake Forest and others. After he committed to SMU, Baylor offered him, but he told them he wasn’t interested.
SIDE NOTE: Howerton also is a discuss thrower on Katy’s track and field team.
AUDIBLE: “It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid. Just to be able to have the opportunity to play for and go to school at SMU means a lot to my family and me. I’m going to get a great education and become a better person all in all under coach Morris.”
How Howerton fits
SMU sees Howerton as a tackle and he will start out there, but he played all over for Katy. SMU loves offensive linemen that are versatile and can play multiple spots, though it wanted guys who had the ability to play tackle in this class. He has the athleticism and can get to the second level quickly.
What Howerton brings
Getting linemen with the athleticism to play tackle and get out on the edge is exactly what SMU needs if it wants the offense to keep progressing like it has in Chad Morris’ first two years. He’s best as a run blocker right now and shows off some power on angle blocks and drive blocks. Howerton shows good bend and pad level, though it’s still an area to be more consistent in, as it is for a lot of high school linemen.
Expectations for freshman year
SMU has not played a true freshman lineman since Chad Morris took over. It’s no guarantee any of SMU’s three freshmen are on the field next year, but Howerton’s ability to play multiple spots could help him see the field early if SMU needs the help. At about 265 pounds, a year to bulk up wouldn’t hurt either.
Career expectations for Howerton
A multi-year starter at tackle, or elsewhere along the line if needed. If the other tackles in this class and in the 2016 class develop well and lock down spots there, Howerton could easily slide in to guard. But SMU sees him as a capable tackle and he will be in the discussion for one of the tackle spots before long. This is a guy that had Power Five offers and interest before committing to Rice, and had Baylor interested late in the cycle. SMU has quickly assembled a good collection of coveted linemen in its last two classes. All seven offensive line signees had at least one Power Five offer when they signed with SMU.