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Howard commits to Iowa State

Ricky Howard had his sights set on playing Division I football, but upon graduating from Hesperia in 2008 he only had offers from smaller schools.

Instead of accepting a scholarship to a Div. II or Div. III school, Howard chose to play at Chaffey College last season in hopes of achieving his goal.

And it worked out for him. Howard, an incoming sophomore tight end, made a verbal commitment to play at Iowa State for the 2010 season.

Howard — a 6-4, 255 pounder that earned second team Southern California Football Association National Division Central Conference honors this past season with the Panthers — committed to a Cyclones team that is coming off a 2-10 season, but has a new coaching staff in place.

He said he did some research and liked the fact that offensive coordinator Tom Herman and defensive coordinator Wally Burnham both led units that ranked in the top 25 in the nation last season.

“That’s not something that I’ve heard from other schools,” Howard said.

What also attracted Howard was the fact that Herman coached tight end James Casey last season at Rice University. Casey was the second-leading receiver in the NCAA with 111 catches.

Howard said Florida International also offered a scholarship, and he had talked with other schools that said they wouldn’t offer anything until after the coming season.

Howard said he will sign with Iowa State in December and enroll in classes for the 2010 spring term.

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