Eight days before former Syracuse Orange defensive back Naesean Howard stabbed ex-teammates Chauncey Scissum and Corey Winfield, Howard told Syracuse.com in an interview that he believed Scissum and Winfield were jealous of him and purposely sabotaged the recruiting weekend that he took prior to joining the program.
Howard told Nate Mink that Scissum was his host for the weekend during a recruiting visit he took in January 2014. While attending a party on South Campus, Scissum continued to pour vodka in Howard's cup after he already said he had enough. However, another person who was at the party refuted this claim, telling Syracuse.com he didn't see Scissum pour any alcohol into Howard's cup.
Howard, who said he drank so much he blacked out, was taken to another party at the Schine Student Center. He said both Scissum and Winfield were with him when he left and recorded a video of Howard being carried out and acting drunk.
"I'm thinking they were jealous of me the whole time," Howard said. "They sent it to my phone. I don't have it anymore. I was pissed off, so I deleted it. Maybe they're jealous of me because I'm coming in with more speed than them. Maybe Chauncey knew I was better than him as a player, so he had to try something to hold me back."
While there is no proof the video ever existed, or if former head coach Scott Shafer and his staff saw it before it was deleted, Howard said he believed the incident had already soiled his reputation with the coaching staff before he ever even participated in his first practice.
The 2014 recruiting incident was just the first of many for Howard, who was eventually dismissed from the program in September that same year. After transferring to Wagner, and being dismissed from the football team there as well, Howard re-enrolled at Syracuse. Shortly after Shafer was fired, and Dino Babers was hired to replace him, Howard attempted to re-join the football team, believing a new coaching staff could provide another chance.
The news reportedly came as a shock to Howard, who called himself "the Michael Vick of the town" while playing in high school, and also compared himself to former Alabama Heisman Trophy-winning running back Derrick Henry (Howard also played running back while in high school).
According to Syracuse.com's Nate Mink, shortly after Howard was informed he would not be allowed to try out for a spot on the team, Howard texted a reporter a string of, what now would appear as eerie and suggestive, messages.
"Not the end of my career."
"Again, I'm forced to leave."
Eight days later, Howard allegedly stabbed both Scissum and Winfield multiple times at a barbecue outside a South Campus resident Saturday evening, according to court documents. A witness who was in attendance said Howard stabbed both Scissum and Winfield just minutes after arriving. There was no argument prior to the attack, the witness told Mink.
Howard has been charged with with two counts of assault in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, according to police. He is currently being held in the Onondaga County Justice Center.
The former Syracuse defensive back was arraigned in Syracuse City Court Monday morning and is due back Friday at 10 a.m. He is currently being held on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond, Syracuse.com's Sarah Moses first reported.