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Howard caps ‘surreal’ month by signing with Mountaineers

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Culminating a month of rapid recruitment that he labeled “so surreal,” junior college quarterback Skyler Howard signed his letter of intent with West Virginia on Wednesday.

Howard was among four junior college players who signed with WVU as midyear enrollees, joining linebacker Edward Muldrow, offensive lineman Sylvester Townes and cornerback Keishawn Richardson.

“I’m ecstatic. I’m ready,” said Howard, who threw for 3,151 yards and 33 touchdowns in leading Riverside (Calif.) City College to a 10-2 record this fall. He ranked as’s fourth-ranked dual-threat quarterback nationally after running for 343 yards and five touchdowns.

Listed at either 6-foot tall or 5-11 by various sources, Howard doesn’t posses prototypical height, but his production in the spread attack led WVU offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson to extend Howard his first FBS offer last month. San Diego State and New Mexico State followed with offers, while Utah and Cal began showing interest also.

“(WVU’s offer) got the recruiting process on fire,” Howard said. “My phone started blowing up from all these different coaches. Just because West Virginia had offered me, they wanted to see what I had.”

Though Howard was an all-district player at Fort Worth-Brewer in 2012 and on pace to graduate early, he received scant attention coming out of high school. The lone phone calls came from Austin College, a Division III in Sherman, Texas.

“That was pretty much all I had,” Howard said. “Not to bash Austin College or the D-III level, but I knew I could play above that level.”

After spending a spring semester as a walk-on at Stephen F. Austin, where he was moved to running back, Howard began researching junior college programs in hopes of playing quarterback. Several personal connections led him to Riverside, where he won the starting job, put up big numbers and suddenly became a Division I prospect.

The last month has just been surreal,” he said. “I can’t step into a better situation, with me being from Texas and playing in the Big 12. I grew up watching the Big 12, so to be playing in it is a dream come true to me.”

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