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Howell-in’ for Hart

Former Indian comes back to visit team and get them motivated

Posted: October 13, 2008 7:32 p.m.
Updated: December 15, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Dan Howell, a Hart graduate, motivates players during practice. Howell played for the University of Washington and had a stint in the NFL.

 

Former Hart linebacker Dan Howell was on his old stomping grounds during the past two weeks, motivating the current Indian football players on the practice field.

On Sept. 16, Howell was cut by the Cincinnati Bengals. The 2003 graduate could not heal a sprained ankle, suffered in the third week of training camp.

"I was on the back side of a play, running off a block," Howell said. "A lineman rolled on my leg. I contacted teams, like Cincinnati, San Francisco, put my name out there. Hopefully not all is lost."

Howell, signed on May 4 by the Bengals out of the University of Washington as an undrafted free agent, was initially cut on Aug. 30. He was signed back to the practice squad the next day, but cut soon afterward.
"It was a blessing to make it that far," Howell said. "I kind of saw it coming. My ankle wasn't at full strength like I thought it would."

The older brother of Stanford University freshman Delano Howell was out on the practice field with his former head coach, Mike Herrington, helping encourage the team. After living his entire life in Newhall, the 22-year-old Howell is looking to move to Seattle.

"I'm here to motivate some young guns," Howell said. "We have to get some wins, man!"

Dan Howell left Friday to watch Saturday's game at Stanford against the University of Arizona. Going into Saturday's game, Delano Howell had six kickoff returns for an average of 25.8 yards. On Oct. 4 at Notre Dame, Howell had three carries for 15 yards, his first action at tailback this season.

"He likes it a lot," Dan Howell said. "I know he enjoys the college lifestyle, I know that. He doesn't need my help. I share some of my experiences with him. I've been through some injuries. He's developed into something on his own."

The older brother said his younger sibling has a chance at making it to the National Football League.

"I know he has a chance, as long as he stays healthy," Dan Howell said. "Four years of college will help.

The league (NFL) is about being smart, not just fast. He has natural ability, he'll probably go."

Howell knows a thing or two about winning. In 2003, he was on an Indians team that beat Mission Viejo, 23-7, the season after Hart lost to the same club, 10-6.

"That was payback for the previous season," Howell said.

Howell talked about this year's team, which has had its share of troubles.

"The only main thing is they lack the traditional Hart spirit," Howell said. "It's a matter of playing as a team, not being so individualistic. I remember when wearing a Hart uniform was great. It seems like the value has depreciated with the real estate."

Hart quarterback Spenser Souza has benefited from Howell's influence.

"From the get-go, he's come out with an insurmountable amount of energy," Souza said. "He's come out with a big amount of aura and he's been giving out that positive vibe."

At Washington, Howell played with former Huskies who are now in the NFL - then quarterback Isaiah Stanback, cornerback Roy Lewis, running back Lewis Rankin and defensive end Greyson Gunheim.

Stanback is currently with the Dallas Cowboys, Lewis is on the practice squad of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Gunhiem and Rankin spent time in this past summer's Oakland Raiders training camp.

For now, Howell is trying to get back on a team the NFL.

"I'm just waiting for the right opportunity," Howell said.

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