When Doug Marrone and the Syracuse Orange offered a football scholarship to West Genesee RB/S Naesean Howard back in October 2012, he called it his "dream school." That dream will continue as Howard met with new HC Scott Shafer on Saturday and verbally-committed to play for the Orange in 2014.
"I grew up in Syracuse and I wanted to stay in town," said Howard, who also had a scholarship offer from Buffalo. "Growing up, I went to Syracuse games, and I always wanted to be that person on the field wearing orange and blue."
Howard is rated three-stars by Scout, though that's as a RB and Howard prefers the option to play defense, telling Syracuse.com that he wants to be the one to do the hitting. Howard was recruited by D-line coach Tim Daoust but has also met with RB coach DeAndre Smith.
Howard also had an offer from Buffalo. He also comes with a bit of baggage stemming from a robbery arrest in 2010. He says he's learned from his mistakes and put it behind him. Clearly, Coach Shafer believes he has and is channeling his hardnosedness for good.