Following a 257 yard and one touchdown performance, SI All American Candidate Elijah Howard discussed his performance and commitment to Tennessee with VR2 on SI. Below is Howard's SI All-American evaluation.
Prospect: Elijah Howard
Status: SI All-American candidate
Vitals: 5-foot-11, 185 pounds
Position: Running Back
School: Chattanooga (Tenn.) Baylor School
Committed to: Tennessee
Projected Position: Running Back
Frame: Slightly undersized overall. Average width across shoulders and chest. A bit long waisted. Slender, tightly-wound thighs and calves. Plenty of room for additional weight.
Athleticism: Borderline elite quick-twitch athleticism. Sudden, violent cutter with lightning-quick feet in short areas. Self-reported 4.33 40-yard dash is dubious, but possesses breakaway speed regardless. Good balance through contact. Surprisingly powerful. Natural hand-eye coordination.
Instincts: Highlight-reel agility. Can make defenders miss immediately after exchange, sticking foot in ground and changing direction with speed. Gets “skinny” to split defenders in box and open field. Will lower shoulder to plow through would-be tacklers. Tracks ball well in air as receiver, showing soft hands.
Polish: Clean footwork, technique at exchange. Runs with consistently low base and pad level. Possesses vast array of jukes, moves as ball-carrier, including effective stiff arm. Promising route-runner. Lacks experience, size as blocker, but has power and disposition to be effective.
Bottom Line: Tennessee recruited Howard at running back and corner, and he recently suggested he hopes to play defense in Knoxville. But ball-carriers blessed with his blend of quickness, speed and budding power are few and far between, making it likely Howard sticks at running back. Likely multi-year starter who projects to get at least a passing look from NFL scouts.