Hey Nas: Syracuse Picks Up Commitment From Camillus RB/DB Nas Howard

SU adds its first verbal to the Class of ’14 with a local product.

With another ugly weekend for Syracuse hoops, Naesean “Naes” Howard’s commitment to the Orange was a bright spot. Scott Shafer is ahead of last year’s pace. Howard’s verbal is the first for SU in the 2014 class, a feat the Orange did not achieve last year until May.

Howard is a RD/DB from West Genesee High School in nearby Camillus, NY. Syracuse and Buffalo are the only two schools to offer Howard thus far, but he has made it clear he wants to play in the Dome where he had some big games before.

Although he is recruited as a running back, Howard has played a fair amount of safety and cornerback. There is a good possibility the staff could test Howard’s ability at both positions next year to see where Howard best matches up. Nas told Syracuse.com “If I had a choice, I would want to play defense. When you’re a running back, people are aiming to hit you, but on defense you’re aiming at other people. I love contact.”

Many see Howard as an under the radar talent, something Shafer’s staff can be flexible with while the next identity of Orange football takes shape. Although SU has Jerome Smith and PTG handling the bulk of the running game for next season, there will at some point be a void at the running back position, since Syracuse did not pick up a commitment from one in this year’s class. Orange Nation is also looking forward to seeing young George Morris suiting up.

Howard stands at 5’11’’ and 185 lbs. and is quick in getting out of traffic. Although Howard does not have blazing speed, he does move well when there are bodies around him, fighting for the extra yards. From Howard’s perspective, he is getting a big opportunity by getting an offer to SU. Although some think Howard is under the radar, others believe he received an offer largely because he is a local product.

But Howard boasts his own credibility, and SU just might be one of the first in on him because he’s in the backyard. He rushed for 1193 yards with 19 TDs in only 7 games played during last season.

Howard’s commitment is a good start to a crucial class for Shafer. The 2014 recruits will be Shafer’s first full class since taking over. The Orange has stressed the importance of keeping the local talent in state and this commitment is a step in that direction.

Posted: Zephan Mayell

29 Comments on this Post

  1. Someone get that school a new camera.

    Anyways, good to keep the kid home. Hopefully he develops into a great player for us. He’s pretty fast on that turf in the Dome it seems.

  2. nice to see a player who could go either way.i think this kid is under the radar and will eventually be a player here.

  3. orangeinva

    Looks pretty good on tape..and this as a junior. He could be 6′ 195lbs easily this time next year..and faster.

    And don’t look now but due to the verbal SU is ranked in the top 45 by Scout for 2014 recruiting…

    See what a change coaching can make!!??
    I’m kidding but right now as a CUSE football fan will take anything!

  4. As a West Genny grad I could see Naesean in the secondary as a hard hitting safety.

  5. I think this is a good get for Syracuse University. Russell this kid goes both ways and has played safety during their games and has said that he really prefers playing on the defensive side of the ball.

  6. Is this kid better than Rouse??? Maybe as a DB yes RB no way.

  7. @Terry;

    After watching Rouse last year and watching the video on Howard,both players have one thing in common. Both West Genesee and Baldwinsville used both backs extensively. I t kind of looks like noone else was involved in either of their offenses.

    Rouse will have 1 maybe 2 years of college ball before Howard gets on the field to play. That’s when we will be able to compare them as players. To say that one is better than the other noe is foolish.

    Tyler Rouse didn’t have one D1 offer. Nassean Howard had 8-9 D1 offers early. That alone should say it all.

  8. I thought Howard only had offers from cuse and UB

  9. nope offers from Nebraska, Penn State, Utah and others

  10. @Terry;

    One thing that I’m going to agree with you is that it seems like Syracuse doesn’t go after local talent. How could GROB not make an effort to get Jolan Dunbar who played for Boston College and is now in the NFL. something like this just bothers me to no end.

    You may be right about Tyler Rouse,all that I can say is a players high school statistics doesn’t tell the whole story on a player. Let’s wait and see what happens between these two ok. If he’s as good as you think he is,then we’ll find out when Boston College comes to town at the end of the 2013 season won’t we. You have to remember now we’re not going to see Naesean Howard on the field of play much before 2016 and Tyler should be just about done at Boston College.

  11. Scout.com and Rivals just list offers from Syracuse and UB. The other schools show as schools of interest.

  12. 2 things………..
    First Rouse is a RB. He’s no Morris or Little. But neither is PTG or Smith yet. Howard is not a DIV 1 RB. Rouse might be by watching his film. He “IS” like Morris/Little in that way, in a couple of years. He does have instinct and balance!! Maybe Howard is more a DB and even he says that. But to give Howard ink now and Rouse the NYS GATORADE Player of the Year nothing until near signing day is crazy!! I know I’m beating death horse here, but answer my question on why no interest in Rouse. Rumors are not answers!! And 2ND thing is this staff is going after some real talent-4 star sometimes. I’d like to see DA find out the different strategies from dougie and HCSS on finding HS FB talent around the country!! dougie preached on recruiting(which he sucked at) “we will never get the high ranked kid here at SU”. While HCSS and staff for 2013 have thrown that out!! Just interesting!!

  13. In fairness to Howard one of the best running backstop wear orange wasn’t a guy with speed. David Walker was such a player but what he did have was the ability to extend the run for more yards than it was appeared to have been when the defense closed in on him.So often when it looked like he would be down after 3 r 4 yards he would get 5 or 6.

  14. Comparing Walker to I suppose what SU has lacked in the last decades(Little/Morris) is like comparing a Mustang to a Porsche!! Give me the Porsche every time. Its always quick and dependable every time!!

  15. CuseOnly

    @Terrie – Rouse had 1 offer from Buffalo before BC came in very very late to offer.

    I am glad you think Rouse was a D1 RB, but 122 other D1 head coaches, assistant coaches, talent evaluators, “experts”, pay sites, etc. think the exact opposite of you. Only 2 of 124 thought he could play at a D1 level, that should tell you something.

    Oh yeah and Terrie, or “FlaSteve” as you used to be known, Rouse is not coming to SU, GET OVER IT! Just Stop!

  16. Russell MacEachern

    nice pickup for the Cuse who could go either way…..who knows he may grow into a bigtime rb?NY kids upstate are a little behind the curve due to less than average competition but after a year or 2 on the team he may develop his talent and pass most of the megahyped type guys like Curtis Samuels?..at the least he can turn into a lockdown CB!!I hope were still going after Samuels tho and remember guys some of these kids read these sites!

  17. Russell MacEachern

    Welcome to the “Cuse” Naz Howard, Im sure ur anxious to give em hell!!

  18. Russell MacEachern

    Ron,ur right about kids stars or HS hype dont always show the size of a kids heart…this kid may be hungry to show the doubters….hear that Terry?..lol..

  19. @CuseOnly;

    my sentiments exactly,thank you.

    When we talk about power running backs at Syracuse two names come to mind,Jim Brown and Larry Csonka. We’ll probably never see another one like either of those players here. It was a pleasure watching Little/Big man Joe Morris(1978-1981) running the ball. I watched Ray Rice during the NFL Playoffs and realized then what we as Syracuse Fans had missed out on because of the uproar to get rid of Coach P.

    For anyone out there that can remember,Joe Morris wasn’t that big of a player and neither was Ray Rice. Both gained weight after they entered the NFL. The one thing both had in common was their ability to run the ball. To compare Tyler Rouse to either of those players is just completely crazy.

    The player that I’m impressed with is Naesean Howard who stands 5’11’ and 190 lbs. In his junior year of high school the kid is bigger than either Little Joe or Ray Rice After watching the tape on this kid,I came to the conclusion,he looked pretty good to me,and the offer to him was legit. Remember now he probably will get a little heavier in his senior season of high school football. The one bad thing for Naesean is that we will not see him play until 2016 after his redshirt year of 2015.

    The door will be wide open for him and others that get recruited because the current crop of RB’s on the team will all be graduated by then.

  20. @Russell MacEachern;

    Russ,I’m not going to throw Tyler Rouse over board and say he doesn’t belong playing in D1 and I’m saying that Terry isn’t wrong by believing in this kid. I just don’t see in him what Terry see’s.

    I mean I could be on the wrong side of this argument,Tyler Rouse was accompanied by his high school coach and athletic director down to Albany on either Thursday/Friday of last week where the State Senate drafted a resolution honoring him as the 2012 NY State Gatorade Player of the Year.

    Russell has any of the past Gatorade Player’s of the Year from the down state area ever receive such recognition?

  21. Cusenotonly is floridasteve!!! OK I’ll give up trying to find out why Rouse was not given a SU opportunity and Howard was. We’ll see!! Ron, Joe Morris was a real payer!! And Little too! Not big but quality and plenty of heart to. Ernie had size too!! Howard has said he’s a DB. That should tell ya something about him. Rouse has heart and balance. BC just might get a player there. It will take patience and time, but Tyler just might haunt SU like Rice did. Then I will want your song to change. But if Tyler song never pans out, I’ll admit my mistake. Cusenotonly(really floridasteve) will never admit his mistakes!! But I do love HCSS and his staff going for the gold(4 stars) and such. But floridasteve(cusenotonly) a dougie supporter will still have problems with that. LOL!!

  22. @Terry;

    It could take a couple three years before anything is proven one way or the other between this two players Terry. But mark today on the calendar that you and I have a bet on who the better player will be.

    If Tyler Rouse turns out to prove me wrong by being the player that you think he will be. I will apologize to you in person and on this web site telling everyone my assessment/criticism of Tyler was all wrong. Circle(the calendar)it Terry,I won’t forget our discussions or will I ever back off of the bet to apologize.

  23. @Terry;

    OK I’ll give up trying to find out why Rouse was not given a SU opportunity and Howard was.

    Terry just think about what you’ve asked. Everyone see’s things differently. What Coach Marrone saw in a recruit wasn’t exactly what Coach Shafer saw. The reason I say that is because Coach Shafer and staff are going after some big time recruits and is hitting Georgia,Florida,Illinois,Nevada and California,New York and New Jersey hard. The recruit’s that he’s targeted is mind boggling. Let’s hope the he gets a few of them.

  24. @Terry;

    Just remember that Damien Rhodes over at Fayetteville-Manilus has also said that he has a couple of D1 recruits. One is a OSL and the other a DE.

    Let’s see what happens with those two players.

  25. CuseOnly


    Me being loridaSteve, You are clearly outside of your mind making that statement.

    I notice that your thoughts, writing style, your overuse of exclamation points, mindless drivel comments, refusal to let go of a certain subject/player/coach give you away.

    Learn to write differently and you won’t give yourself away Stevieboy. Nobody likes you here, move on.

  26. Can’t say I’m any judge of talent, but he looked like D. Carter or A. Bailey type. Slasher that can absorb contact and get extra yards. Didn’t look like he had speed to turn corner in college ball. But he sure hit like a linebacker in some of the defensive sets. Still a junior. Could grow into heckuva safety or maybe even outside LB. Nice to sign quality local kid. Sends message to other quality in state players that SU may have something going on.

  27. Trick or treat Mr cusenotonly give it up your Steve and we know its you. LOL!! Ron I always say it when I am wrong(was right on dougie though). I really do hope Howard is a player, but still think DB is his position. Rouse could turn out to be a good call from SU. I just hope so!! But HCSS and staff are totally different about getting talent to SU. I like that!!

  28. Russell MacEachern

    Al,Ive heard a lot of the cautious concerns that youve mentioned from others I respect but his overall athleticism is his strength….who knows he may become a great SU rb down the line but even if he dont he can contribute as a db/olb or special teams demon? I like the fact were giving the local kid a shot!!…heck,RU didnt like Dion Lewis nor did anyone but Pitt and he punished RU for it….u never know whats inside some of these kids hearts!!…@Ron,Im sure NJ must have honored some of their local HS heroes somewhere but I just dont know for sure?

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