Defensive linemen Robert Howard (Syracuse/Nottingham) will continue his athletic and academic career at the University of Rhode Island after signing his National Letter of Intent on signing day. Howard was a two-year member of the Pioneer football team and a two-year member of the track & field program.
Howard is excited about the next step, "I had a great visit to Rhode Island. I enjoyed the school, the facilities, and the coaching staff. I expect to be an impact player that will help Rhode Island improve."
During the 2012 season, Howard made 36 tackles (15 solo & eight for a loss) and record two sacks but missed three games due to injuries. This followed a 2011 season in which he recorded 42 tackles (15 solo & six for a loss) and two sacks for 6-4 Pioneers. He was named All-Region and helped the Pioneers to their 1st Region III Championship.
Rhode Island head coach Joe Trainer (entering his 5th year at the helm of the Rams program) thinks Howard will fit in with his team. "Robert is what you look for in that three-technique, defensive tackle position. He's a wide-body guy who is a glass-eater inside. He has a big lower body and is very explosive for that type of body."
Pioneer head coach Mick Caba thinks that this is a tremendous opportunity for Howard. "Rhode Island is getting a player in Rob who will make an impact immeadiately and a player who knows what it takes to win as he was a big part of our Region III Championship team in 2011. More importantly they are getting a person of great character."
Rhode Island is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association and will open up their 2013 season at Fordham. Howard is the 3rd Pioneer in the Caba era to head to Rhode Island. Raji El-Amin and Ashley Pierre both played for the Rams. El-Amin is school record holder for the longest punt return.
"Alfred State taught me many things in my two years. I have learned to multi-task and that hard work pays off."
Howard has also participated for the past two years on both the indoor and outdoor track & field teams. He finished 5th at the 2012 NJCAA DIII Outdoor National Championships in the discus with a toss of 42.33 m.
Rhode Island Coach Joe Trainer on Robert Howard: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubJTFkuxy8k