Howard happy to be heading to Syracuse

For Long Beach Community College defensive back Ryan Howard, it just felt right at Syracuse – ‘it' being, well just about everything.

"I committed on Monday night when I got home from my trip," said Howard, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound cornerback. "I had a very good time on my trip. I really liked all the coaches. Me and the coaches' personality matched really well. They were just kind of laid back, and I'm laid back, but when it's time to get down to business, they get down to business. And I'm the same way."

Howard is a naturally gifted athlete, as evidenced by his 4.4-second 40 time and the fact that he never even played high school football, instead focusing on basketball. Now he finds himself playing BCS conference college football, with a chance to play immediately.

"They told me I could compete for playing time right away," said Howard, who picked off four passes, posted 45 tackles and had a punt return average of about 18 yards per return this year – his sophomore season.

"I'm going to move [to Syracuse] after my classes end, at the beginning of the summer, so I can learn all of the plays," Howard said.

Howard was especially impressed with the facilities. On TV, he said, the Carrier Dome looked small. In person, well, not so much.

"It's a beautiful place," he said. "The facilities were the nicest I have ever seen. The weight room was state of the art."

Syracuse had been recruiting Howard since around Thanksgiving, and apparently decided this weekend to offer him rather than offering Chaffey Community College corner Deyon McElroy. Like McElroy, Howard was being recruited by Wyoming and a handful of I-AA schools.

Hopefully the Orange staff has found themselves a diamond in the rough.

"They said they like my savvy and my smartness, and my quickness and my speed," Howard said.

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