LSU 2022 quarterback target Walker Howard grew up bleeding purple and gold. His father, Jamie Howard, played for the Tigers in the early 1990's, starting in 34 games over his four year career at LSU.
Walker attended LSU games far before the Tigers started recruiting him. Yet despite the long ties to the program, starting with his father, Howard feels no added pressure to commit to the hometown team.
In actuality, it’s something he and his father never talk about. Instead, Walker says the most important piece of advice his father has given him is to remain grounded.
"He just tells me to don't let it get to my head," Howard said. "It's great that all of these coaches are communicating with you and showing interest in you but don't let it consume you. He's been a big prospect in Louisiana and he knows there's a lot of hype that comes with it. I talk to my dad about this all of the time, he's my role model and he's been through it all."
This past season, Howard was the backup quarterback to Caleb Holstein for the Division II state champion St Thomas More Cougars. With Holstein off to college, it’s Howard’s turn to see if he can lead his team to a state title.
Despite not having much of any starter experience, Howard is receiving interest from some of the top collegiate programs in the country, which speaks volumes to the kind of talent he is.
There are four schools that stand out above all the rest at this stage in Howard's recruiting process, LSU, Alabama, Mississippi State and TCU. He holds nine offers with likely more on the horizon after recently being ranked the No. 2 pro style quarterback of the 2022 class.
"None of them really stick out above the others right now, those are just kind of my top-four that I like the most right now," Howard said. "I'm very open to everything but LSU is where I've been raised, I'm a Louisiana boy so that's a really awesome opportunity for me."
Walker said his plans are to visit all four schools that are at the top of his list whenever the recruiting opens back up.
In the meantime, with his mentality being solely focused on an ever important junior season, Howard said he's already started getting his receivers together for extra offseason work to prepare for the upcoming season. That work ethic sounds familiar doesn't it?
If LSU fans can recall, that's the same kind of leadership quarterback Joe Burrow showed in the 2019 offseason when he would pool all of his receivers together for extra work during the summer.
"That's just something we do right now," Howard said. "Our coach will come out and direct things for a little while every now and then but we just try to get out there as much as possible to get in some extra work."
Howard was actually lucky enough to meet Burrow during the 2019 offseason as the Tigers were going through spring ball, before as Walker would put it, "he got all famous."
"I can remember him saying he was just so ready to play and I could just see it in his eyes during the spring that he was so fired up," Howard said. "I could just see that he was ready for every play and he just seemed really excited for the upcoming season."
Howard takes a lot from Burrow's game but the most important quality that the junior hopes to perfect from the former LSU quarterback is Burrow's preparation in the film room.
"I mean he's a guy that's dominant in the film room and on the field and knows where everyone's going on the field," Howard said. "He's a guy that's always competing in everything that he does and that's just what I want to be like."