HAYWARD, Calif. -- What does the Texas Tech commit's visit portend for the new Cal football…
Bears Strike First for Howard
"It's just indescribable," Howard said on Saturday night. "I'm just speechless, and grateful that someone finally took notice and actually believed in me."
What finally put Howard over the edge in Cal's eyes?
"I don't know, and I don't care," he laughed. "I'm just happy they offered me."
"The main ones would be ASU, Washington, UCLA, USC, U of A, Colorado and Colorado State," Howard said.
Howard's father went to Kansas, and both his mother and uncle went to UCLA, so he knows the value of a University of California education.
"They were as happy as can be," Howard said about his parents' reaction to the offer. "They were both hysterical and just so proud. It was a great moment … One of the first things they said to me was that the career options and the opportunities that I could have going to that school were so great."
Howard was actually with one of his teammates when the offer came, helping an underclassman receiver understand what a defense would be looking to do when he was running his routes. Howard considers himself a student of the game, and, if Cal don't know that already, "they will soon," he said.
It should come as no surprise, though, that it was Cal, since Howard has been up to Berkeley three times and already has an advocate on the team in defensive tackle Tony Mekari, who went to nearby Westlake High School. Mekari and Howard have known each other since their youths, playing flag football, but now, there's a very good chance that the pair could play next to one another on the Cal defensive line.
"I've known him since I was a young boy," Howard said. "We used to play flag football together, and now we might be playing college football together."
Defensive line coach Fred Tate -- who extended the offer to Howard – told the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder that the Bears want him as a defensive end.
"They want me to be a pass rusher, and they think that I can be a pretty good pass rusher for them and probably be a hybrid-type, stand-up end/outside backer," said Howard. "I'm pretty familiar with the program. Originally, I went to their camp about a year ago, stayed in contact ever since then, went to their junior day about a month ago, and we just remained in contact ever since. He's continuously updated me, and I've been watching them. It's a very good school, a very good school."
Howard has paid particular attention to the new defensive staff in Berkeley during his trips up north, and he likes what he sees.
"They're just very efficient, and up-tempo, high-pace," Howard said. "I remember watching the D-line go, and they all go hard all the time. I remember going to their facilities, and they have a brand new weight room that was very nice. The facilities are very nice, up-to-date, and it's a very good school to get an education from."
Howard is thinking about majoring in kinesiology or business in college.
"Business is a very safe option, but kinesiology, eventually I would like to go into the medical field," he said. "I want to become a surgeon or a doctor or an ER doctor."
Before next season, Howard wants to try to get to 235-240 pounds, as he progresses towards becoming a true defensive end.
"I want to be bigger, but I don't want to lose my speed," said Howard, who has run a 4.69-second 40-yard dash.
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