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21 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Darnell Howard

#73 Darnell Howard
True Freshman
6-6 | 250
Cleveland, Ohio


Position: Defensive End

Previous College: None

Projection: Redshirt

Status: Preferred Walk-On

Darnell Howard Jr. has a name that sounds quite a bit like Darren Howard. Of course, comparing him to a veritable Wildcat legend would be heaping unfair expectations upon his shoulders.

But I've got a good feeling about this one. For a lightly recruited walk-on, his is an encouraging background. He was invited to the 2009 U.S. Army Combine; fellow Cleveland native David Garrett vouched for him in this premium article.

But for a broken foot during the summer prior to his senior year, it seems likely that Howard would have received scholarship offers from Michigan State, North Carolina and Toledo, which all were expressing interest at the time.

Alas, schools move on quickly in the recruiting world, so an injury that costs a fairly unknown player his senior season and the all-important summer camps that precede it can be a death knell for that player's scholarship chances.

Howard almost is certain to redshirt, so our first glimpse of his abilities likely will be in the 2012 spring game.