Howard Focused on Five

<b>Loren Howard</b> is a 6-5, 270-pound defensive tackle from Scottsdale, Arizona, and he plays football for Saguaro High School. Saguaro lost to Tucson Sunnyside 23-21 in the state semifinals, so now Howard is moving forward and looking ahead to taking 5 official visits to some of the finest universities in the country.

"I have my top-5, so I'm having them come by," Howard told Dawgman.com last night when asked about in-home visits. Loren's top-5 is as follows; Northwestern, Stanford, Washington, ASU and Nebraska. "Last week it was Northwestern with Coach Walker and Coach Fitzgerald. Nebraska stopped by, and Coach Hart from Washington did too. Stanford is coming by next week, and Coach Neuheisel is coming by on Monday. ASU is coming over on Tuesday, and I think the UCLA coaches might be coming over too. There's a bunch of them coming," he said with a laugh.

Loren talked a little bit about Washington's defensive line coach. "He's a cool guy," said Howard about Randy Hart. "I like him. As a D-line coach, I like how he's a hard-nosed guy. He likes to get after it. He's put a lot of D linemen in the league, but he was really modest about it. He didn't talk that much about it. I think he's coming back with Coach Neuheisel, so we might get more in-depth about those things then."

Why did the Huskies make his final 5? "I have family there," he said. "They've been #1 or #2 17 out of the past 25 years. It's a pretty place to live and there's good football there."

The process has gotten tougher and tougher for Loren, mostly because he has to say 'no' to so many good programs and coaches. "At first it's exciting, but after you narrow it down it's hard to tell coaches that, hey you guys are a great program, but you're just not for me," he said.

Howard will be visiting Northwestern this weekend, Arizona State on December 14th, and Stanford on January 11th. Washington is tentatively penciled in for a visit on January 4th. "I think I'm going to try and visit Washington and Nebraska on the same week," Loren said.

Loren will be travelling with family. "My uncle's coming with me," he said. "He's not coming with me this weekend because we still expected to be playing on Saturday."

And a leader? Loren doesn't know, but has a feeling that these trips will give him the info he needs, even if it comes down to just a gut feel. "It's tough to say because I haven't taken any visits yet," Howard said when asked about a leader. "All I've heard so far is really just hearsay because of that. I don't think I can go wrong with any of my selections. I don't really have a favorite at this point in time. I talk to a lot of my relatives that have played college football and I'm getting advice from them and others and they've been saying that you just get a feel for it and you just know which one is the best one for you when you get there."

Any last words for Husky fans? "Just let 'em know that Loren is going to get bigger, faster and stronger in the offseason and I'll be a competitor next season, wherever I go" he said. "I plan on coming in around 285-290, keeping the body fat around 10 percent. That's all I can do."

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