Recruited by offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph, Howe identified with the toughness Rudolph and head coach Paul Chryst were instilling in the program, the direction the program was headed, the campus, the program and the city. So when Howe heard that Chryst, Rudolph and others were leaving for Pittsburgh, he knew Wisconsin probably wasn’t a bad option.
Committing in January shortly after taking an official visit, Howe brings an impressive resume with him to Wisconsin. The Associated Press All-Ohio co-Defensive Player of the Year, Howe was a first-team all-state selection by AP as a senior after he recorded 106 total tackles and 13 tackles for loss as a senior. Most importantly he led Archbishop Alter to Ohio Class IV state championship game and 15-1 overall record, helping Alter’s defense hold opponents to 10.8 points and less than 100 rushing yards per game.
Returning for a six season, Badger Nation does a meet and greet with the newer members of the Wisconsin football team, shedding a light on some of the unknown kids that figure to be important parts of the Badgers’ future.
Asking 15 questions, we call this segment the Freshman Fifteen.
What’s been the hardest part for you adjusting to college life?
Howe: The biggest change I’ve seen from life in high school to life in college is how independent I am. I would say I am very responsible for what I do every minute and every day. I don’t have my mom making sure I do this or that or my dad reminding me to do stuff. Of course I have a lot of help here but it’s the independence I think.
What’s been the hardest part adjusting to college football?
Howe: The biggest change for me is the attention to detail. Looking back I can see I got away with a lot of stuff that I can’t get away with here.
Since you arrived here, how have you changed your body to prepare for the college game?
Howe: Before I came here I worked my tail off in the weight room because I knew I had to be as big, as strong and as fast as I could to play at the Big Ten level or even put in some meaningful time at practice. Since I’ve been here I’ve been feeding my body right, getting in on meal plans, putting on good weight, hydrating and taking care of myself.
What do you think your strengths are right now where you can help this team and what your biggest areas of weaknesses?
Howe: My strength would be my mental side of the game, just having an awareness on the field. Obviously it’s not anywhere I want it to be but it’s a good mentality. My biggest weakness is probably my strength. I’m not there yet. I’m not at a Big Ten strength yet in the trenches. I am going to get there over time but it’s going to be a process.
How is Madison different than your home town of Dayton?
Howe: Madison is different than home. There’s more to do here. I am not just hanging out in the house with my friends. We’re going out to the lake and enjoying the city.
Do you have any idea what you want to study in college?
Howe: I am going to study education and be a teacher. I got to take some general classes first and get all those done before getting on the course to be an educator.
What’s your favorite place on the Madison campus?
Howe: It’s probably the Mendota Terrace with it being on the lake.
What’s your least favorite place on campus?
Howe: Shoot … I don’t know if I have a least favorite place here.
What do you enjoy doing most in your free time when you get the chance to kick back and relax?
Howe: I like to golf. I am getting into golf. I am not any good but I enjoy it with the guys here. We’ve gone to U-Ridge and Glenway, which is a little more relaxed and a little easier course.
Who are you going to live with this fall? How are those relationships?
Howe: I am rooming with Alex Hornibrook right now. It’s great. He’s an awesome dude. It’s clear that he’s going to be a great asset to the team in the future. We choose to live together. We went to coach in the summer and asked if there was a way we could work out rooming in the fall. He questioned it at first but we figured it would be a good fit.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learn about Alex?
Howe: He’s a nut. I don’t know how to describe it. He has his fun but he’s just a nut.
Where does your biggest support come from? Family? Friends? Teammates?
Howe: I would say my family. My family has been my biggest support. They aren’t bombarding me but they text me to see how I am doing, calling to make sure I am doing well and they are 100 percent behind me every minute, every day.
What’s your parents reaction to you playing college football here, being on your own for the first time and starting your journey at this school?
Howe: They are pumped. Both my parents are sports junkies, football junkies in particular. My dad played football in college and my mom played basketball. They love sports. They love college football. They can’t wait to come watch games, even if I am on the sidelines.
What was the main reason you flipped your commitment to Wisconsin?
Howe: I’d say this staff believed in me more than any other staff. Obviously I had that relationship with the staff at Pitt and with Coach Chryst here. We talked before I came up and visited and he believed in me and my future. I am obviously not 6-6 and 300 pounds right now. A lot of schools didn’t want me because of that and they believed in me. They know I am going to be special, so I’m excited for that.
What do you think it’s going to be like to run out on to the field Saturday for the first time?
Howe: I have no idea. I’ve been a part of some big games in high school and that was always awesome, but I have no idea what it’s going to be like. I’m excited.