By David Villavicencio
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes have a long tradition of homegrown talent showcasing itself on the football field.
Canes legends like Michael Irvin, Sean Taylor, Jonathan Vilma, Santana Moss and Bennie Blades are just a handful of South Florida natives who shined while donning Miami’s orange and green.
Over the course of the 2013 football season, HurricaneSports.com will honor a Hurricane football player with South Florida ties as the Milam’s Market Homegrown Athlete of the Week. This week’s player spotlight is Miramar native Tracy Howard.
Tracy Howard is a trailblazer.
The Miramar, Fla., native and former star defensive back at Miramar High School is not afraid to challenge himself and he certainly does not shy away from forming his own identity.
Howard, who was one of the top high school cornerbacks in the country his senior year of high school, was recruited by every major college football program in the United States.
The 5-foot-11 corner could have chosen to play at in-state schools Florida or Florida State. Howard could have traveled west and played for USC or he could have followed the long line of Miramar Patriots to West Virginia.
Instead, Howard chose to stay home and play for the Hurricanes.
Howard’s decision to attend Miami is just one of many examples that prove his desire to forge his own path. He is one of four Miramar High alums on the 2013 roster, joined by Williams, receiver Malcolm Lewis and linebacker Jermaine Grace.
After stepping foot on campus as a heralded recruit, Howard wasted little time making an impact. He played in all 12 games as a freshman in 2012, tallying 17 tackles and four pass breakups.
Howard notched the first interception of his collegiate career in the Hurricanes’ 21-16 win over the rival Gators. The talented cover corner has three tackles and one interception through the first two games of the 2013 season.
With 10 games to go in the 2013 regular season, Howard will be one of the many integral parts to Miami’s defensive successes.