Westlake (Calif.) 2016 receiver Theo Howard (6-1, 178), made the move from Oaks Christian to their Marmone League rivals Westlake in the offseason.
With five-star quarterback Malik Henry running the Warriors offense and with Andre Bacciellia, the Washington commit, out with an injury, Howard has assumed the role of primary target in the Warriors passing game.
A good performance against Long Beach Poly and their vaunted secondary, even in a loss, helped Howard too, and on Tuesday morning, he got an offer he’d been waiting for.
“UCLA offered me and it was a big relief,” said Howard. “We had been talking for a long time. They had said to be patient and I was, and they said it would come and as they had said, it did.”
Howard had five catches for 114 yards and a touchdown in the loss to the Jackrabbits, going against Iman Marshall and Colin Samuel. Translating his success from the camp circuit to the field was what UCLA coaches told Howard they wanted to see.
“I hadn’t really been talking to them before the UCLA camp and then I did good at their camp and talked with Coach Yarbs (Eric Yarber) and he said they would take a good look at me this season,” said Howard. “But honestly, I never did think it would come this soon. If it did, I expected it to come a lot later.”
Yarber, Jim Mora and Angus McClure all talked to Howard on Tuesday to give him the news.
“It’s a great thing to get this offer,” said Howard. “They have always been high on my list. UCLA and Michigan were two of my favorites growing up.”
The Wolverines have been talking a lot with Howard along with Washington and Arizona State. He camped with the Sun Devils and will visit them during the season. Tennessee and Oregon State have also been in contact with him.
“My offer is as a traditional outside receiver,” said Howard. “I just play receiver for Westlake.”
“I think it’s been a good move for me with Malik at quarterback and a great team around me,” said Henry. “We had a good game against Poly. It was a tough loss but we held in there with them and it was good playing against Biggie (Marshall). Now we have a bye then Dominguez and then a big game with Mater Dei.”
With a long time until he’ll need to sign, Howard has no plans to announce for anyone anytime soon.
“Not at all, I’m in no rush to make a decision,” said Howard. “I want to go through the whole process.”
On the season, Howard has 15 receptions for 231 yards and three touchdowns.