“Never. I’ve never had any player attract the attention that he’s gotten. He’s something special.”
Is Howard poised to be the best local product to come out of Syracuse and don the Orange in college? As a junior last season, “Naes” piled up over 1,500 yards on the ground and amassed 26 touchdowns. The future Orange tailback is already setting lofty goals for his senior season at West Genny.
He told The Fizz he wants to eclipse 1,800 yards and 30 touchdowns. Corley admitted that it certainly could happen this fall.
“The sky’s the limit with Naes. I say this all the time about him, he’s not just a running back or a defensive back or a linebacker. He’s a football player. Naes is a football player, so athletic and he can do all the little things.”
Howard possesses quickness and speed that many can only dream about. He has the potential to be one of the best local products to go to Syracuse over the last decade. He could also team up with recent commit QB A.J. Long and form a tremendous 1-2 punch in the Class of ’14. Will he have a better career than some of these former locals turned Orange studs?
- RB Damien Rhodes, 2002-2005
Rhodes was one of the most highly touted players to stay home and play at Syracuse. Expectations were high for the Fayetteville-Manlius native, and he was one of the lone bright spots during the tail end of the Pasqualoni era. Rhodes left the Hill fifth on the all-time all-purpose yards list with close to 4,000 over his four years. His final two seasons he rushed for nearly 1,800 yards and racked up 17 TD’s. Rhodes has coached at F-M since 2008, and was just promoted to head coach in January.
- DB Will Allen, 1997-2000
The Corcoran cornerback had one of the best NFL careers for recent Orange alumni. Allen picked off 17 passes during his Cougar career – including a school record 11 as a senior – and went on to garner All-Big East honors as a senior at SU. He was drafted in the first round in 2001 by the Giants and played the majority of his career with New York and Miami. He was also one of SU’s best return men in school history.
- WR Marcus Sales 2008-2012
The CBA product’s career started slow, then hit a snag in 2011 when he was suspended for the entire year by Doug Marrone after his arrest for drug possession. He proved to be a playmaker during his senior season and tallied nearly 900 yards and 8 touchdowns this past fall. He benefited from an up-tempo offense that featured SU’s most potent aerial attack in school history. He had one of the program’s most memorable bowl performances with 3 touchdowns in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl.
Howard still knows he has some work to do to become one of the best ever. But for now, he admitted to The Fizz he’s happy to be continuing his football career at SU in 2014.
“Syracuse was always my dream school. I liked the family feeling of the coaching staff and I really think I can fit well into the football program. Also, it’s a good place to study business.”
Posted: Kevin Fitzgerald
Who’s the greatest Syracuse local product of all-time in your mind?