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2022 NFL Prospect Interview: Jerry Howard, RB, Towson University

Jerry Howard is a big bruiser of a running back who will be playing at Towson University this fall as a Georgia Tech graduate transfer. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I recently graduated this past May at Georgia Tech with a degree in Business Management with a focus in Operations. I am now studying Exercise Science at Towson University. During my time at Georgia Tech, I participated in a few different community service projects whether it be playing with kids at a local orphanage or picking up trash in the neighborhood.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
They would say that I’m a great teammate and that I lead by example.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I feel that I can be an all-around back. I’m big enough to be a power back and fast enough to run around the edge. I’ve played in a run heavy triple option as well as playing an air raid scheme back in high school. Two years ago at Georgia Tech, I was used as a receiver coming out of the backfield.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
I’ve played against some of the most athletic linebackers in the country such as Isaiah Simmons, Roquan Smith and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. They are always around the field making plays. They are sideline-to-sideline type players that are able to read plays before they happen.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
There have been several players that have impressed me over my years. I have to give a collective shout out to all of Georgia Tech’s players for knowing how to attack the game. This past season they had 2 great freshmen in Jahmyr Gibbs and Jeff Sims that really impressed me. LB Quez Jackson really stepped up and put on a show last year. Wesley Walker is a young talented player in the secondary that really affected the game. Kyle Kinnard also has a bright future ahead of him as an edge rusher.

Since settling into Towson, there have been a few players that have stood out. Chris Ferguson is the transfer QB from Liberty and he’s already shown his ability to be a vocal team leader. LB Darien Reynolds is another transfer that came over from Gardner-Webb who’s really good. S.J. Brown is a strong passionate player as the safety who’s going to make some great plays this year.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
I’ve overcome a lot of loss in my life that has affected me. After my sophomore year of football in high school, we lost my older sister that January. Going into the following summer, we ended up losing our house and being homeless for a few months. As struggles were happening all around me, I put all my efforts into football.

My high school team did an excellent job my junior year. I ran for over 1000 yards and we ended up winning States. After that season, the college offers started to come in. At the end of my senior season in high school, I had committed to Georgia Tech. Shortly after we took pictures with the coaches, that’s when I lost my Dad. It was obviously a very emotional time. I promised that I wouldn’t put any more stress on my Mom who was going through grief. So, I was determined to focus my efforts on getting to college, earning my degree and pursuing my dream to play pro football in order to hopefully make my family’s life better.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I ran track every year of high school except my senior season. I was also a pretty good wrestler back in the day. I wrestled straight through middle school up through my sophomore year of high school. I came back my senior year of high school and ended up placing second in State.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
My proudest moment was when my son Braxton was born. My biggest achievement was graduating from Georgia Tech. The academics there are no joke and can be very challenging. I’m also the first in my family to go to college and graduate from a major institution.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
My freshman year at Georgia Tech, we were playing against Jacksonville State. We were up in the game and the coach decided to put me in. On my second play, we ran a mid-zone dive, a big hole opened up, and I ran the ball 65 yards for the touchdown. I went off like a rocket on that play, and it’s still one of the most memorable moments of my career.

I also had great moments on special teams. During the 2019 season, I was able to block 2 punts. I take a lot of pride in special teams in how I put it all out on the field and pay attention to detail.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite athlete of all-time is Marshawn Lynch. He’s a real tough runner, and I loved his attitude. A player in the league that I model my game after is Josh Jacobs. He does everything well. He’s a great pass blocker and uses great technique as a runner, using a stiff arm. I also like Chris Carson’s game, who is similar.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Two of my favorite artists are Kevin Gates and Kodak Black. Before games, I like to listen to “Tomorrow” by Kevin Gates and “Feelin’ Peachy” by Kodak.

What is your favorite comfort food?
During the season, sushi is my comfort food. Yet, in the offseason, I’ll indulge a bit on some wings from time to time.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite TV show right now is The 4400. Some of the movies that I like are the Fast and the Furious movies as well as the Witch Hunter.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
If I’m not watching film or stretching and preparing for a game, I’ll play some video games like Madden and Call of Duty: Code War.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I fell in love with football at a young age. Although, now I have to approach football like it’s my job. I really hope to take care of my family in the future.

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