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April 22, 2007

West Florence QB Emerges As Sleeper At Camps

West Florence (SC) quarterback Jimmy Howell has been waiting for a couple of years for his chance to call the signals on the varsity team, though he has been a starting varsity punter since his freshman year. This past weekend, Howell attended the Elite 11 Camp in Atlanta and was invited to attend the Nike Camp on Saturday.

"It was a great time," said Howell of the Elite 11 Camp. "It was very instructional and a lot of fun being able to work out with the level of talent that was there."

Howell also liked being coached by some of the industries top coaches, as well as running into several other South Carolina quarterbacks that he'll be seeing in the recruiting circles this season.

"I saw Dakota Derrick (Conway), Reid McCollom (Summerville), and Aramis Hillary (Strom Thurmond) there."

"I got a lot of good feedback from the coaching staff," said Howell. "They said I was solid on my 3-step and 5-step drops and that my throwing and arm strenght was good. They did say that they'd like to see more lateral quickness out of me and that is something I'm working on."

Howell, a 6-6, 240lbs right hander, has been throwing with his receivers two days a week, working on his drops and throwing different routes. He said he's ready for Spring Practice, which begins April 30th for West Florence.

This will be Howell's first year as a starting quarterback, though he has been a starting punter since 9th grade. He has made all-area and all-region for the past two years as a punter and last season, punted 48 times with 20 punts inside the 20 yard line and 40 yard per punt average. He's getting mail from schools for his punting skills, but hopes to hear from the same schools for his quarterback skills.

"I like Notre Dame, Clemson, Tennessee, Colorado, and Duke," said Howell. "Those are the schools that have sent me letters and text messaged me about my punting."

In sounding off on the text message issue, Howell echoed what many other athletes across the country are saying. "I think its ridiculous for them to try to take that away," said Howell. "Its a great way of communication and really helps the players as much if not more than the recruiters."

Though Howell lacks experience at the varsity level, he possesses the size and strength to make the difficult throws on timing routes and can throw the long ball well. He's got a quick drop and set and with some added lateral speed, may be a strong sleeper at the quarterback position.

We'll get a good look at Howell next month as he is confirmed to participate in the SCVarsity.com All-State Football Combine on May 12th at Brookland-Cayce High School.



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