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Four-star DE Howard chooses Vols

12/8/2011

Edgewater (Orlando, Fla.) four-star wide receiver Alton Howard committed to Tennessee on Wednesday over UCF.

The 5-foot-9, 175-pound speedster also had West Virginia and Cincinnati in his final group. Several other programs including Florida, Kentucky, Michigan State, Maryland and South Carolina extended offers.

"It wasn't an easy decision," Howard said. "But I feel like I made the right choice."

Tennessee had been one of Howard's favorites since the summer and the Volunteers became his leader after his official visit in early October.

The hometown Knights, however, were heavily in the mix as well but when wide receivers coach David Kelly resigned last month it was a major blow to UCF's recruiting. The Knights also lost out on wide receiver target D'Vario Montgomery (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) last week (USF) and saw former commit Kevis Jones (Oakland PArk, Fla./Northeast) switch to Wake Forest.

As for Howard, he could see immediate time in Tennessee's offense as a slot receiver and return specialist.

"They want to do a few things with me," Howard said. "I am just excited to be there. I have a great connection with the program and a the coaching staff."

Howard plans to graduate early and enroll next month.