Will Howard Embraces Pro Day Platform: ‘One Day at a Time’ 

Devin Brown and Will Howard trotted onto the practice field Wednesday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for Pro Day

Their purpose was to throw passes to Ohio State’s entrants into this April’s NFL Draft. But with the starting quarterback spot still up for grabs next season, maybe their mission was to add the next wrinkle into the race. 

“We were joking, I mean, we were like, ‘Oh, I’m sure they’ll figure out who the starting quarterback is today, right?’” Howard said. “We were just out there having fun. Like we don’t think about it like that at all. We were just out there competing and trying to help our brothers out that are going to the next level, so that’s all it was.” 

Howard didn’t throw at the past two Pro Days at Kansas State. Wednesday was a chance to step up in front of NFL executives and scouts on a pro-type level where he connected with Buckeyes like Xavier Johnson and Cade Stover. 

Howard said it was “like being a Home Run Derby pitcher” on the practice field putting passes right where his teammates wanted them. 

“I thought it was fun for me to just go out there and throw routes with the guys,” Howard said. “I’ve never gotten to throw with any of those guys before. We obviously practiced and got ready for this. But it was cool to get to work with them.” 

The Buckeyes returned from spring break this week and held practice No. 3 of the spring on Tuesday and No. 4 on Thursday. Howard said he spent his break at home in Downington, Pennsylvania, and in Texas working with quarterbacks coach Jeff Christensen and UCF quarterback John Rhys Plumlee. 

Howard understands the competition and standard he’s held to at Ohio State. He knows the importance of making a good first impression in not only head coach Ryan Day’s mind but that of Buckeye Nation, and Howard hopes to establish a consistent rhythm while building a rapport with the coaches. 

“It was funny, on day two, I think I threw the worst routes on air I’ve ever thrown in my life,” Howard said. “Then I went out and practiced and I don’t think I missed a throw. It’s like night and day so it’s hard to form opinions on one thing, but you know, every single day it’s just getting more comfortable. And it’s a process so it’s not going to all happen at once.” 

One of the coaches Howard will build a relationship with is new offensive coordinator Chip Kelly, who also assumed the role of quarterbacks coach. 

Howard said he thinks the way Kelly relates to players “is cool” and that he is getting “more and more comfortable” working with the former UCLA head coach. 

“I feel good about it,” Howard said. “I’m still just taking it day by day and I’m not trying to get ahead of myself and look at the end goal because the day in front of me is what’s most important. (Wednesday), it was throwing for Pro Day and getting ready for this and tomorrow it’s day four, so I’m just trying to get better every single day.” 

Howard isn’t stepping onto Ohio State’s campus as a first-time quarterback. He’s been an established starter who has gone on to win a conference championship. 

But even with a lengthy resume behind him, Howard is looking toward the future. Amid Ohio State’s second quarterback competition in as many years, he wants to keep making progress in every aspect that will help make him the best gunslinger he can be. 

“And the thing is, it’s never going to be perfect,” Howard said. “Some of the routes that we run are a little different. The timing is a little different obviously getting used to the speed of the guys here. But I think I’m adjusting well, and I think I felt like in week one before spring break, it was like practice one, and I felt like I was kind of just feeling my way through it and then practice two I felt so much more comfortable. And I think every day, it’s just going to get more like that and I’m going to be able to just really start — rather than kind of just throwing the ball — really started ripping it because I really understand it.” 

You might also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *