“I’ve been just concentrating on track right now which helps me with my speed and I’ve done pretty good,” said Brandon Howard. “I won the CIF regional in southern California, which is the third toughest region in the country, for the 110 meter hurdles with a 14.14 time, so I’m very excited about that.”
Howard will now prepare for the statewide competition in which he has a good chance of becoming the state champion. “Football is my thing, but it’s been fun seeing how well I can do in track,” said Howard. “My speed is my biggest asset on the football field and running track is helping me with that.”
Howard currently weighs in at 5’10” and 165 pounds and is looking to build his strength before reportingto BYU’s campus shortly after the fourth of July holiday. “They told me not to come until the start of August when practices officially start, but I just can’t wait that long,” laughed Howard.
Howard has been to Provo since signing his letter of intent visiting the team for the Blue-White game. During that trip Howard got acquainted with the team and some of the players he will be playing with in Provo.
“They practiced just like I thought they would under coach Mendenhall,” said Howard. “He runs them hard, but that’s what I expected when I signed with him. He told me straight up what he expected from me and all his players and I could see from attending his practices that he’s a man of his word.”
Howard also had a chance to throw the ball around with fellow 2005 signee Stephen Covey. “Stephen Covey is a great guy,” Howard said. “I worked out with him some running up in the canyons and trying to get used to the mountain air. I know that’s going to be a challenge acclimating myself to the thinner air and that’s part of the reason why I’m coming to BYU early.”
Howard is also taking Yoga classes and running in California’s own canyons to help with his adjustment to Provo’s thin air. Laughed Howard about his regimen, “I’m the only guy in the class most of the time when I go to Yoga, but hey, you got to do what you got to do. You know what I’m saying. I’m doing everything I can to prepare as best as possible to come prepared when I report to practice for the first time.”
Howard’s biggest struggle has been putting on weight. “I’m not the biggest guy,” Howard admitted, “but I’ve been able to add five pounds of muscle since Coach Omer sent me his workout guidelines. I’m focusing mostly on my upper body strength. Coach Mendenhall really wants me to get bigger and I hope to report to BYU at 170 pounds.”
Of course Howard’s biggest asset is his afore mentioned speed, and Howard knows that his speed and quickness is what will set him apart from other cornerbacks. “Now that I’m running track I haven’t been able to work out as much as I’d like,” Howard said. “But it’s helping me with my speed and running hurdles helps me with my agility. Those are the two things that are most important for a guy playing cornerback. As soon as track is over I’m going to hit the weights hard again though.”
In the meantime, Howard is aching to get to Provo and to get going. “Man, I just can’t wait,” he said. “I am so excited to get up there to Provo and to get going. BYU is a great school with a great football program that is going places and just to be a part of that is all I could ask for. I know BYU has a great tradition of quarterbacks. It’s been quarterback U, but my goal is to help BYU become known as cornerback U while regaining national recognition.”