February 19, 2011

Ohio State leads for Florida star

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Ohio State is hitting the state of Florida hard in the 2012 class. The Buckeyes have already offered nine prospects from the Sunshine state and are looking to keep bringing in high level talent from one of the nation's most fertile recruiting grounds. Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater athlete Alton Howard is one of the early targets for the Buckeyes and the 5-foot-9, 170-pound prospect is definitely reciprocating the interest.

"It gave me a lot of motivation; Ohio State is my dream school," said Howard of his initial reaction to the offer. "They were looking at me since my sophomore year. This year I felt like I was a better player and they saw more talent in me (than from his sophomore year) and they offered me, it felt very special."

Ohio State is no stranger to Edgewater High School. Starting center Michael Brewster was an All-American there in the 2008 class and with Brewster and Howard having a prior relationship; Brewster has certainly been in Howard's ear about his experience in Columbus.

"Me and Brewster, we talk a lot," Howard said. "We chat on Facebook and keep in touch. He tells me about the atmosphere up there and how everything is up there and that I would love it. He says that everyone up there is really dedicated and they make it feel like home. I basically enjoy everything that he is telling me (about Ohio State)."

Howard boasts an impressive early offer list that consists of Central Florida, Cincinnati, Florida, Miami (Fla.), UCLA, and Virginia, among others. So where do the Buckeyes fit into the picture?

"Ohio State is number one," Howard said. "I feel like they're my dream school. I just like everything with their offense."

A standout at both wide receiver and cornerback, Howard is currently being recruited as an athlete by the Ohio State staff. The big time speedster is fine with that and doesn't really have a preference as to which position he plays at the collegiate level.

"Either position really is fine," Howard said. "I would say offense because I like to make big plays but at the same time I like playing defense because I grew up playing cornerback."

It's not easy for Florida prospects to make unofficial visits to Columbus, but Howard is hoping to do just that at some point in the next two months.

"I am supposed to come to a junior day close to the spring game," Howard said.

Howard is going to use his spring and summer to gather as much information as possible on the schools that are recruiting him in the hopes that he can make a decision before his senior season.

"I may make my decision before the season or during the season," he explained. "I just want to get recruiting off my back and stay focused academically."


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