Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lincoln's Howard standing out

Even in a 49-13 loss at Handley last night, Auburn commit and current Lincoln star D.J. Howard looked like a future star.

Howard only touched the ball 11 times (including two catches for two yards) and finished with nine rushes for 186 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The tailback was most effective when Lincoln turned to the Wildcat formation. That's how Lincoln scored both times -- one on an 80-yard Howard run and another on a 68-yard run by Howard.

Howard's most impressive run came on his first score. He started left, but got hit in the backfield. Handley had three or four defenders right on him before Howard switched fields and turned the corner. He showed elusiveness, speed and the ability to break tackles on the play, but what impressed me most was the way he set up his block on the outside. He faked outside, allowing his receiver to stay on his block, and then broke inside at the last minute. The move created enough of a block to let Howard go 80 yards for the score.

When Howard gets to Auburn, it might not be as a tailback. Auburn might use him instead as a safety. Last night erased any doubt that he could be a valuable addition to the Tigers' backfield, though.

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