Naes Howard means all business this year. The Syracuse commit just finished up his junior year at West Genesee and has a summer filled with constant workouts and training sessions as he prepares for his final high school season. The speedy tailback tells The Fizz he has plenty to improve upon before he gets to SU. Just a little over two months before the season kicks off, Howard has been itching to get back to football.
He has a brand new training schedule for the summer. Three days a week he participates in a revamped weightlifting program at WGHS, and he is trying to improve his quickness and fundamentals. The Syracuse native is working with a new footwork coach to increase his agility and speed heading into his senior year. Naes says he wants to trim his 40 yard dash time to 4.3 (he runs a 4.4 right now). The tailback wants to make his final high school season the perfect one; and that means staying focused on an off the field.
“I just remember that grades are the most important [element]. It goes grades and then football, so I’m stepping up my grades and my studying.”
West Genesee workouts start in a few weeks. Naes missed the most recent Syracuse camp because of a surgery. The RB had a small procedure done on his shoulder to correct an injury that has been lingering since his freshman year. Howard had a calcium build up on the bone, but is now back in shape and ready to work.
His focus is entirely on football. Naes’ goal is to rush for close to 2,000 yards this season, and the former track star will give up the sport to ready himself for a grueling ACC schedule in ’14. Things have changed for him since he announced his commitment. Some things for better, others for worse.
“One thing that changed is that I don’t have to worry about what schools I get in touch with and sending out film. Another thing that changed is friends.”
Howard has been cautious not to hang around with the “wrong crowd” thanks to his football success. Sometimes this can be the downfall for certain athletes.
Naes has also been keeping in close contact with some of the other Syracuse commits. A.J. Long has been a beast on the recruiting trail with Orange targets, and Howard is trying to do the same. The tailback says he is recruiting a promising QB prospect out of Henninger High School, Keyshawn Scott. He’s educating the athletic junior to keep his grades up and always keep the Orange in mind.
This could be one historic year for the West Genesee product. Howard’s devotion to improving his game is unparalleled. And his skill on the field is unmatched compared to every other Central New York running back.
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald