Posted: 2:00 am Thursday, September 20th, 2012
By Jeff Greer
Lloyd Howard entered the 2012 season with about as much hype as any player in Palm Beach County not named Greg Bryant, Will Likely or Kelvin Taylor.
The Palm Beach Central senior added to that aura in his team’s kickoff classic, darting his way to a dizzying 274 total yards of offense and five touchdowns. Howard, who’s 5-foot-7 in the game programs only, has 173 rushing yards in Central’s two regular-season games, playing the splash’n’dash role alongside more powerful running backs Tommy McDonald and Ray Wilson.
On Wednesday, he made some folks in Boca Raton very happy, verbally committing to play football at Florida Atlantic next fall. Howard (No. 25 on the Big Board) joins Austin Bland (St. Thomas Aquinas), Reggie Brown (Tampa Jesuit) and Kamrin Solomon (Jacksonville Mandarin) on FAU’s commitment list for the Class of 2013, instantly adding speed and elusiveness to FAU coach Carl Pelini’s future roster.
“They say they already have specific plays designed for him,” one Palm Beach Central assistant coach said of FAU.
That was hard for Howard to ignore, though he’d hoped a big summer on the 7-on-7 circuit and a breakout fall would help him garner more interest from other programs. If other programs get more involved, his commitment status could change. For now, he’s solid on the Owls.
Getting to this point wasn’t easy for Howard, who was suspended six games last fall for his involvement in an on-field brawl with Oakland Park-Northeast in a feisty and heated kickoff classic at Palm Beach Central. He scored three touchdowns and accounted for 258 total yards of offense, but coaches at Central raved that this fall would be his breakout season after a lack of game tape in 2011 hurt his recruiting process.
“He’s fast and he makes people miss,” Palm Beach Central coach Rod Harris said of Howard last fall after his suspension. “He’s the kind of kid who makes things happen on offense.”