HERO Sports welcomes you to "Two-a-Days", where we will preview every single one of the 125 FCS programs, with two being released each day from June 18 to August 18 (with the final day having three in one day). Today we give you … Howard.
MEAC (Howard was 2nd in the MEAC in 2017)
COACH: Mike London – 2nd year (7-4)
2017 OFFENSE: 29.9 ppg (33rd in FCS)
2017 DEFENSE: 28.2 ppg (82nd in FCS)
SUM IT UP: Howard hadn't finished with a winning record since 2012 — but Mike London (who was at Virginia prior and won an FCS national title at Richmond before that) fixed that instantly. The Bison went 7-4, beat an FBS school (UNLV), nearly beat another (Kent State the next week) and then did well in the MEAC. In all, the program returns 13 starters — 6 on offense and 7 on defense. And having electric quarterback Caylin Newton back on offense with his top two receivers back is a massive deal. And on defense? The secondary just looks stellar. The biggest question marks come on the offensive line, where there will be a lot of work to do — and not surprisingly Howard did very well in the O-line department when it came to recruiting. This is a program that is going places. While North Carolina A&T looks loaded again, this is an up-and-comer in the MEAC.
BEST-CASE SCENARIO: Two FBS games against MAC schools open the season, Ohio U and Kent State once again. Those will be challenges, as Ohio U was solid last year, and Kent State picked up one of its two wins last year against the Bison. But don't be surprised if an FBS win comes in September, once again. After that? The nine FCS games are all winnable. I'm not predicting every single one is a win, but there's no team on this FCS schedule that Howard can't compete with. The ceiling is 9 or 10 wins, the worst case scenario is probably about the 7-win range. Howard will be a team that gives the FCS teams on its schedule fits.
TOP RETURNEE: QB Caylin Newton (HERO Sports Preseason All American – 2,432 yards passing, 13 TDs; 753 yards rushing, 12 TDs).
THE NEXT BEST: WR Jequez Ezzard (1st team All MEAC); DB Bryan Cook (2nd team All MEAC – 6 INTs); WR Kyle Anthony (3rd team All MEAC); DB Aaron Walker (48 tackles, 2 TFL – leading returning tackler); DB Tye Freeland (In just 8 games – 44 tackles, 6 passes broken up, 3 FR, 3 FF); LB Dominique Smith (46 tackles, 5 TFLs); DE Isaiah Fludd (5 TFLs, 27 tackles).
TOP NEWCOMER: DE Jayde Pierre (3-star high school recruit, offers from six Power Five Conference schools).
DID YOU KNOW?: Thurgood Marshall — the first African American Supreme Court Judge — graduated from Howard University. He didn't have to go far from his alma mater for this milestone, as Howard University is in Washington, D.C.
THE QUOTE: "We are excited about the opportunities we have to play at home in Greene Stadium. We have a high-caliber roster with returning players and the addition of new players that are coming in from a large recruiting class. We are ready to face any challenges because we know that each game is an opportunity for improvement. We've improved since last season and now we want more. All of our guys are ready to get going," London said." — Head Coach Mike London said this spring
SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT
THE HASHTAG: #missionpossible2
FOOTBALL TWITTER: @HUBISONFOOTBALL
— Mike London Sr. (@CoachMikeLondon) June 12, 2018
FCS QB TRANSFERS: Who Tops The List?