The eight summer enrollees in Clemson’s 2020 signing class reported to campus a couple of weekends ago, following the 15 midyear enrollees who joined the team in January ahead of spring practice.
In our Fresh Look at Clemson’s Summer Enrollees series, The Clemson Insider gives an in-depth review of the newcomers, breaks down what each player does best, how they will fit in and more. In this article, we focus on Trent Howard:
Hometown (high school): Birmingham, Ala. (Briarwood Christian School)
Height, weight: 6-4, 285
Prospect ratings/rankings: 3-star, No. 31 state (Rivals); 3-star, No. 84 OG, No. 46 state (247Sports); 3-star, No. 89 OG, No. 51 state (ESPN)
High school stats/accolades: Three-year starter who helped Briarwood Christian to a 45-10 record over his four years … helped his squad to an 11-4 record in 2019, a 9-3 mark his junior year, a 13-1 record his sophomore year and a 12-2 mark in his freshman season … reached quarterfinals of the state tournament his freshman year and reached the finals in 2017 … was a PrepStar All-Regional selection … played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game
Scouting report: Howard’s physicality was on display last season when he put defensive linemen on their backsides often. He is strong at the point of attack and consistently drove defenders to the ground. He plays with a violent, aggressive style and finishes blocks through the whistle. Howard moves well for his size, too, with quick feet that enable him to get to the second level with ease and block out in space. He is quick off the snap at the line of scrimmage and uses his hands well to engage defensive linemen. Howard is at his best as a mauler in the run game, and you have to like the toughness he brings to the table. Another plus for Howard is he has family football pedigree as his father, Johnny, played with Dabo Swinney at Alabama as an offensive lineman and was a member of the Tide’s 1992 national championship team.
How he fits in: Howard is one of the most versatile offensive linemen in Clemson’s freshman class, having played all five positions on the line in high school. He was primarily a tackle last season but will be an interior lineman at Clemson, manning either guard or center. He also has experience as a long snapper and could serve in that capacity as well.
Howard needs to get bigger and stronger before he is ready to contribute up front for the Tigers but has the potential to eventually find a role and make an impact as a valuable member of the O-line unit. Off the field, Howard is a perfect fit for Clemson’s culture and will excel in the classroom. He was honored as a C Spire Academic Achievement Award winner at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game last December.
Coach speak: Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell on Howard:
“He’s very talented and he’s our kind of people as far as being a great person, great student and hard worker, and got great bloodlines. He can long snap. So many things he can bring to the program … He’s as good as there is. He’s going to be a really good player for us, so I’m excited about him.”
—Clemson Athletic Communications contributed to this story
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