Aug. 12, 2011
Howard, who will wear jersey No. 7 this season, is an up-and-coming talent at corner and is the leading candidate to replace All-American Chimdi Chekwa on the strong side. He used this offseason to add a little more muscle and has already turned heads during spring and fall workouts. His playing time increased last season as he recorded 13 tackles. A 30-yard fourth-quarter interception for a score in the win over Penn State highlighted his 2010 campaign before grabbing another interception and a fumble recovery in the win over the Wolverines. And now with Chekwa and Devon Torrence both gone, Howard will look to step up and be that playmaker the Silver Bullets need on the edge.
“When you’ve got a guy like Travis out on the edge, he can make some great plays,” co-defensive coordinator Jim Heacock said during spring drills. “He’s a good football player and he’s going to get better and better.”
Barnett earned himself the starting job at strong safety last season as a sophomore before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the win over Miami in week 2. Barnett has since recovered nicely and will look to team up with Orhian Johnson at the two safety spots.
“C.J. knows the defense very well,” Howard said. “He knows where he has to be, when he has to be there and anticipates where the ball is going to go. That allows our defense to make more plays.”
Click the video above to hear what they had to say earlier this week.