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Roster Countdown #6: Eli Howard

Howard anchors an experienced defensive line.

Arizona State v Texas Tech Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

Position: Defensive End

Class: Sophomore

Jersey Number: 53

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 270

Hometown: San Angelo, Texas

Howard entered last season as a little known transfer from North Texas. As a redshirt freshman not much was expected out of Howard. Most were hopeful he could be a decent rotation player and give some of the starters a breather.

Howard, however, had no intention of being a role player and quickly grabbed one of the starting defensive end jobs by the middle of conference play.

He led the team with eight and a half tackles for loss and five and a half sacks last season. In total, he tallied 27 tackles on the year. He was easily the Red Raiders most feared pass rusher and probably the best defensive lineman. At the end of the season, the Big 12 coaches selected him to All-Big 12 honorable mention.

While last season there were very low expectations, this season things have certainly changed. Howard will be expected to not only lead the defensive line but it is also expected to continue to grow as a pass rusher.

Now as a sophomore, it is reasonable to expect that Howard would increase both his sack total and his total tackles. Look for him to be in the running for an All-Big 12 selection at the end of the year.