ESPN 300 wide receiver Jonathan Howard (Rochelle, Ga./Wilcox County) was close to being a Clemson Tiger. But in a matter of weeks, he saw his spot vanish in a flurry of commitments by ESPN 300 prospects Demarcus Robinson (Fort Valley, Ga./Peach County), Mike Williams (Santee, S.C./Lake Marion) and Ryan Jenkins (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter).
“I was very close to going to Clemson over the summer,” Howard said. “But before I knew it, they filled up.”
The 6-foot-5, 193-pound wideout is not out of options by any means, as he has eight other offers to choose from. Four programs stand out at the moment to Howard, and he discussed them in order.
“North Carolina is No. 1 and they are doing a great job recruiting me,” Howard said. “I like everything about that program. They spread the ball, they have strong academics, and they are good in every sport. With Louisville, me and Coach (Charlie) Strong have a good relationship and he has done a great job recruiting me. He has them moving up and they are ranked, so it would be an honor to be a part of that program. Kentucky has quite a few guys that play football there from Georgia that I know. I played against Fred Tiller and Alvin Dupree, and they both seem to like it there. N.C. State has a good program and I like how they spread the ball out and throw it a lot.”
One aspect that could help the Cardinals with the No. 192 prospect in the country is his teammate, defensive back/athlete Makail Grace (Rochelle, Ga./Wilcox County). The 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect recently picked up his first offer from Louisville.
“If Makail commits to Louisville, then I will, too,” Howard said. “He is my first cousin and he has been my quarterback since middle school.”
In the last three seasons, Howard has caught 79 passes for 1453 yards and 20 touchdowns. He and his cousin started their season Friday with a bang, knocking off fourth-ranked Wilkinson County 43-39.
“I had 11 catches for 205 yards, and he was 19 for 27 for 407 yards and four touchdowns, both school records I believe,” Howard said.
Howard has yet to visit any of this top four, but hopes to finalize plans with his coach to take officials soon. Howard said North Carolina, Louisville, Kentucky are recruiting him the hardest, and thinks Auburn could be close to offering. Kentucky running backs coach and former Lagrange High School (Ga.) head coach Steve Pardue was the last coach he spoke to, with Pardue contacting Howard before the Louisville game. The four-star prospect has no timetable for his decision.