Howard adds his legacy to the list of Jacksonville greats

3 · 22 · 23

The Andrew Jackson Tigers had themselves a natural born football player at Linebacker. He stands at 6’3, 220 pounds and has the ability to strike fear into the hearts of every offensive coordinator that faces him. His name is Grayson Howard. Beginning his high school career playing in 9 games as a freshman, the coaching staff at Jackson knew this young man was going to mature into something special. During that season, Howard displayed the “show me” mentality as he recorded 51 total tackles, 34 solo tackles, 7 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries. Critics were often concerned about his size earlier in his high school career, but his ability to get to the ball with a sense of urgency and make plays overshadowed that factor. During the 2020 season, Howard had a sophomore coming out party by displaying how he had improved as a player and showing who was the next up and coming defensive gem out of the city of Jacksonville. He made 118 total tackles, 77 solo tackles, 1.5 sacks, 4 passes defensed and 1 interception as a 10th grader, which was a major step from the year prior. After an explosive sophomore campaign and taking some trips to different colleges around the country, Grayson Howard began gaining the attention of some powerhouse division-1 programs such as Virginia Tech, Tennessee and Florida State. Showing consistency on the field and in the weight room, he started to transform himself into the total package. This was the key factor to Howard legitimizing his future and his status as one of the most highly sought after players of his time. His junior season is what led him to become a Times Union Super 11 selection, tallying a team best 157 total tackles, 95 solo tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 6 passes defensed. With all of the attention, letters and scholarships he could be offered, the 4 star Linebacker had made the decision to commit to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks 2 months before the start of his senior season. It is obvious that the majority of the success for this football team is due to the dynamic play of the defense lead by Grayson Howard. Concluding the 2022 season, the Jackson Tigers finished with the best record they have had in 13 years at 8-3. Howard has surpassed  his total tackles from last season with 166 and 93 of those were solo. He has also recorded 4 sacks, 4 passes defensed and recovered 3 fumbles this year. Grayson Howard has shown improvement every step of the way from one year to the next up to this point, which is the reason why he was chosen as a 2023 Under Armor All-American. The South Carolina Gamecocks have found themselves a “dog” on the defense and it will not be surprising to find out that Grayson Howard has earned himself a starting spot as a Freshman in this upcoming 2023 season. 

About the Author

Vaughn Foster