September 1, 2009

Ohio RB working toward more offers

Arguably that most talented running back in the state of Ohio for 2010 is Erick Howard of North Canton Hoover High School. The 5-foot-10, 210-pound prospect rushed for 1795-yards as a junior on his way to winning the prestigious Mr. Ohio football award.

Howard is rated a 3-star recruit by, but he is unranked as far as top running backs. The lack of a position ranking surely has something to do with him still working on getting his academics in order. ranks Howard the #1 running back and #9 player in the entire state, ahead of over half a dozen 4-star recruits.

Howard camped at Michigan State earlier this summer and indicated that he "loved" his time in East Lansing. The Spartans have been one of the teams that have shown a consistent level of interest in Howard since last year.

Several teams have already offered Howard a scholarship, incluiding multiple Big Ten schools, but his top choices are still waiting for him to square up his academics before they pull the trigger.

"Ohio State and Michigan State are my top two, Howard said. "I just need to get my test score up and I am in wherever I want to go."

Howard had the following to say after he camped at Michigan State back in July:

"With Michigan State, I just like the campus and the grass field. I'm not a big fan of turf and their field is really nice. Plus, everything's right there. The dorm is right across the street from the workout facilities and the school itself. It's a nice setup."

Howard has been working hard on getting his academics in order. Like many prospects, he fell behind early on in high school and is now having to make up for not taking care of his academics during his freshmen and sophomore years. The more his GPA improves between now and the end of the school year, the lower his qualifying ACT score needs to be.

Howard and his Hoover team got off to a strong start last weekend as they defeated Washington D.C. Coolidge High School by a score of 34-6. Howard ran for 137 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. He finished the game with 247 all-purpose yards. The game was called early due to lightning.

The fact that the Spartans are waiting on Howard to get his qualifying test score also plays into the fact that Michigan State's running back situation is still somewhat convoluted as of right now. The Spartans have several running backs that are fighting for a chance to get on the field. It is possible that some position changes or even attrition could occur between now and next fall.

Spartan Coach Pat Narduzzi is serving as the primary recruiter of Howard for Michigan State. The Canton, Ohio area always has a lot of high quality football talent. The last player the Spartans brought in from Canton was former starting DE Bandon Long. will be sure to follow-up with Howard in the coming weeks. Howard is as good as any prospect in the Midwest, and once he gets a quailifying test and GPA his ranking will certainly reflect his ability.

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