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All He Needs is One Chance

Posted: March 5, 2008 12:53 a.m.
Updated: May 6, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Former Hart High linebacker Dan Howell is looking for a chance with an NFL team after four years at the University of Washington Pro Day and an invitation to meet with the Cincinnati Bengals prior to the draft. Whether or not he's drafted, he plans to pursue a career.

 

First round, seventh round, no round at all - who cares?

That's the attitude right now for former Hart High linebacker Dan Howell as he approaches the NFL draft. All he needs is a cup of coffee or two. He's got a plan for taking care of the rest.

"Just let me hit somebody," said the Indian-turned Washington Husky-turned pro football hopeful, now back living with his mom while he trains in Santa Clarita Valley. "Just put a helmet on me, give me some pads and a field to run on and I'm confident I'll show them something."

Interviews, as you can see, probably aren't going to be a problem.

Getting his foot in the door is the challenge right now.

While he finishes up his final few classes over the Internet, Howell is preparing himself to make the most of any opportunity that comes his way. Since the conclusion of Washington's season in December, he's been training in preperation for the gauntlet of tests that stand just ahead.

The big one comes one week from Friday.

Howell will return to school for the University of Washington Pro Day to perform for scouts and coaches.

After six weeks of especially intense training, Howell's goal is to lift 225 pounds 30 times and to perform a time in the low 4.6s when he is clocked in the 40-yard dash.

He's hopeful they will be enough for a second look.

"If I get drafted, if I don't get drafted, some team is going to bring me in and I'll show them how I hit," he said.

The Pro Day should be especially crucial because after an under-the-radar college career, he was not among the 300-plus prospects invited to perform at the NFL's pre-draft combine.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound outside linebacker has languished the past four seasons on an underachieving University of Washington squad which struggled to a 4-9 record last year.

His statistics there likely won't send NFL coaches sprinting.

The senior was 11th on the team with 34 tackles, six of them for a loss to go with five pass deflections as a senior.

Not enough to fill up NFL team's likely draftboards.

"I feel like I played a lot better as a junior than as a senior which is dissappointing," he said. "But I am not lacking in confidence. If teams see me hit, they'll understand what Ican do."

Some have taken notice.

Howell's agent advisor Joe Aloisi said teams around the league have shown interest in the linebacker, most notable of which is the Cincinatti Bengals who have already called.

They club has extended an invitation to Howell to be among the maximum 30 players they will be allowed to host prior to the draft for a physical and a round of interviews.

Aloisi, who has already seen another of his clients, former Hart High quarterback Matt Moore, go from undrafted rookie free agent to No. 2 quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, called it an important step for Howell.

It should put him in other teams' consciousness.

"All it takes in the NFL is for one person to fall in love with you and you're in," he said. "One coach, one scout - if you can make someone fall in love, you can have a job in the NFL for life. He's getting his chance right now."

 

That's the attitude right now for former Hart High linebacker Dan Howell as he approaches the NFL draft. All he needs is a cup of coffee or two. He's got a plan for taking care of the rest.

"Just let me hit somebody," said the Indian-turned Washington Husky-turned pro football hopeful, now back living with his mom while he trains in Santa Clarita Valley. "Just put a helmet on me, give me some pads and a field to run on and I'm confident I'll show them something."

Interviews, as you can see, probably aren't going to be a problem.

Getting his foot in the door is the challenge right now.

While he finishes up his final few classes over the Internet, Howell is preparing himself to make the most of any opportunity that comes his way. Since the conclusion of Washington's season in December, he's been training in preperation for the gauntlet of tests that stand just ahead.

The big one comes one week from Friday.

Howell will return to school for the University of Washington Pro Day to perform for scouts and coaches.

After six weeks of especially intense training, Howell's goal is to lift 225 pounds 30 times and to perform a time in the low 4.6s when he is clocked in the 40-yard dash.

He's hopeful they will be enough for a second look.

"If I get drafted, if I don't get drafted, some team is going to bring me in and I'll show them how I hit," he said.

The Pro Day should be especially crucial because after an under-the-radar college career, he was not among the 300-plus prospects invited to perform at the NFL's pre-draft combine.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound outside linebacker has languished the past four seasons on an underachieving University of Washington squad which struggled to a 4-9 record last year.

His statistics there likely won't send NFL coaches sprinting.

The senior was 11th on the team with 34 tackles, six of them for a loss to go with five pass deflections as a senior.

Not enough to fill up NFL team's likely draftboards.

"I feel like I played a lot better as a junior than as a senior which is dissappointing," he said. "But I am not lacking in confidence. If teams see me hit, they'll understand what Ican do."

Some have taken notice.

Howell's agent advisor Joe Aloisi said teams around the league have shown interest in the linebacker, most notable of which is the Cincinatti Bengals who have already called.

They club has extended an invitation to Howell to be among the maximum 30 players they will be allowed to host prior to the draft for a physical and a round of interviews.

Aloisi, who has already seen another of his clients, former Hart High quarterback Matt Moore, go from undrafted rookie free agent to No. 2 quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, called it an important step for Howell.

It should put him in other teams' consciousness.

"All it takes in the NFL is for one person to fall in love with you and you're in," he said. "One coach, one scout - if you can make someone fall in love, you can have a job in the NFL for life. He's getting his chance right now."

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