Over the years, quite a few physical freaks have come through the program at Florida. The two that first come to mind are linebacker Jevon Kearse and, more recently, defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Both had a rare combination of size, speed and strength.
Now, it’s time to introduce the Gators’ newest Freak.
Howard came to Florida as a 230-pound defensive end. Now, the junior from Apopka is a 310-pound starting (and very imposing) defensive tackle. And here’s the scary part: He’s running around out there like a defensive end or linebacker, making plays all over the field.
“He’s doing really good,” junior defensive end William Green said. “He’s over 300 pounds and he’s very fast. He’s almost as fast as I am. He’s a very fast guy, and very strong. His potential … the sky is the limit.”
By all accounts, Howard has been dominant in camp. When coaches or players are asked about who the top players are right now on defense, Howard’s name comes up every time.
Howard says he’s just competing as hard as he can every day.
“With the competition, if you miss one practice, your job is up for grabs. You have to keep pushing through,” he said.
Howard said those 310 pounds he is carrying aren’t a burden.
“I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been, but I’m able to run with it,” he said. “I’m comfortable with it.”
He’s a Freak with it.
Howard and starting nose tackle Omar Hunter are giving the UF defense a very strong look in the middle.
“Omar and I are really working good together,” Howard said. “We have a great bond together.”