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Longview’s Travin Howard Switches Commitment to TCU After Weekend Visit

Rockwall-Heath quarterback Ryne Randle is hit by Longview safety Travin Howard during the Lobos’ 42-10 Oct. 11 in Rockwall. (Jamie R. Carrero, ETSN.fm)

College football programs recruit players for various reasons, most importantly their ability. They often take players not accustomed to their system and turn him into the piece they need for their particular offense or defense.

With TCU and Travin Howard, that is definitely not the case.

Longview’s senior safety, who was previously committed to UTSA, visited TCU this past weekend, received an offer, and committed to the Horned Frogs on Wednesday, giving them a player that is tailor-made for their well-known 4-2-5 defensive scheme.

Longview head coach John King confirmed Howard’s switch to TCU via text around 8 p.m. Wednesday evening, just after Scout.com-affiliated HornedFrogBlitz.com first reported the news.

Longview S Travin Howard. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

The 6-foot, 178-pound Howard has played extensively for two years in Longview’s version of the 4-2-5, which shares plenty of similarities with the TCU scheme that head coach Gary Patterson has used to build the Frogs into a consistent football force during the past decade.

Howard started at an outside safety spot — often in the box with the flexibility to attack downhill or drop into coverage — for Longview in 2013, when he assembled one of the best defensive campaigns in recent memory in East Texas. Howard finished with 89 tackles, 10 for loss, one sack, eight interceptions, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one punt block, eight pass breakups, and four defensive touchdowns (three INTs, one fumble return).

Howard’s playmaking ability and versatility also translated to special teams, where he averaged almost 16 yards per punt return and took back two punt returns for touchdowns.

The electric athletic ability Howard possesses was obvious last May at the ETSN.fm Football Recruiting Combine at APEC training facility in Tyler. He clocked a laser-timed 4.54-second 40-yard dash and recorded a 36-inch vertical and a 10-foot, 4 1/2-inch broad jump, which tied for the the best broad jump performance of the 100 participants at the event. Howard’s 1.92-second time in the final 20 yards of his 40-yard dash tied with several other competitors for the seventh-fastest at the combine in the final 20 yards.

Howard is 1 of 36 East Texans in the 2014 class with at least one Division I FBS offer and the 27th player committed to an FBS program. He joins Palestine defensive end/linebacker Jarrell Owens as the region’s two TCU pledges in the 2014 class. Owens committed to TCU in June.

With National Signing Day approaching (Feb. 5), recruiting has seriously picked up in East Texas during recent days. Howard joined Chapel Hill defensive lineman Keith Minor, who committed to New Mexico, as the region’s two Wednesday pledges.

2014 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers

  • Blake Bogenschutz, QB, Carthage, 6-1, 175 — committed to UTSA (1)
  • Jacob Bragg, OL, Nacogdoches, 6-4, 310 — committed to Kansas; additional offers from Louisiana Tech, Oregon State, ULM (4)
  • K.D. Cannon, WR, Mount Pleasant, 6-0, 160 — committed to Baylor; additional offers from Arizona, Clemson, Florida State, Houston, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Utah, Vanderbilt, Virginia, West Virginia (21)
  • Caleb Chumley, QB/ATH, Pine Tree, 6-5, 220 — offers from Houston, Kansas, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Missouri, New Mexico State, North Texas, Oregon State, Texas State (9)
  • Joseph Clark, RB/S, Chapel Hill, 5-9, 175 — committed to Texas Tech; additional offers from Air Force, Navy, Texas State (4)
  • Kade Clayton, ATH, Tyler Grace, 6-0, 180 — offers from Navy, Texas State (2)
  • Terrell Cuney, C, Jasper, 6-3, 260 — committed to Texas; additional offers from TCU, Texas Tech (3)
  • Devondrick Dixon, ATH, Gilmer, 5-9, 180 — committed to Texas State (1)
  • Rashaan Donelson, QB, Liberty-Eylau, 6-0, 187 — offer from Navy (1)
  • Adrian Goodacre, OL, Carthage, 6-4, 318 — committed to ULL; additional offer from Houston (2)
  • Terian “Tee” Goree, WR, Carthage, 6-2, 170 — committed to North Texas; additional offers from Colorado, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, San Diego State, ULL, ULM, UTSA (9)
  • Davion Hall, ATH, Liberty-Eylau, 6-2, 191 — committed to Baylor; additional offers from Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, SMU, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech (9)
  • Zaycoven Henderson, DT, Longview, 6-1, 300 — enrolled at Texas A&M; additional offers from Baylor, Florida, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, SMU, South Carolina, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, Washington, Washington State (18)
  • Travin Howard, S, Longview, 6-0, 178 — committed to TCU; additional offer from UTSA (2)
  • Willy Ivery, ATH, Sulphur Springs, 5-8, 180 — committed to North Texas; additional offers from Colorado State, New Mexico, Texas State, Toledo (5)
  • Taylor Jackson, WR, Texas High — offer from Navy (1)
  • Jamal Jeffery, WR, Lufkin, 5-9, 165 — committed to Texas A&M (1)
  • Chris Jefferson, ATH, Athens, 6-2, 200 — committed to SMU (1)
  • Jawuan Johnson, DB, New Boston, 6-0, 195 – committed to Northern Illinois (1)
  • Dorian Leonard, WR, Longview, 6-4, 200 — committed to Texas; offers from Florida State, Oklahoma, Oregon State, San Diego State, Texas Tech (6)
  • Reggie Long, LB, Whitehouse, 6-0, 218 — offers from Air Force, Army, Navy (3)
  • Ben Luckett, RB, Palestine, 6-0, 195 — committed to ULM (1)
  • Patrick Mahomes, QB, Whitehouse, 6-3, 203 — committed to Texas Tech; additional offers from Houston, North Texas, Rice (4)
  • Stephan Maxey, DB, Longview, 5-11, 185 — offer from UTSA (1)
  • Keith Minor, DL, Chapel Hill, 6-3, 237 — committed to New Mexico; additional offer from Cincinnati (2)
  • Jarrell Owens, LB/DE, Palestine, 6-3, 230 — committed to TCU; additional offers from Texas State, Texas Tech, ULM (4)
  • Greg Roberts, DE, Nacogdoches, 6-5, 200 — committed to Baylor (1)
  • Anthony Rhone, LB, Texas High, 6-0, 210 — committed to SMU (1)
  • O’Keeron Rutherford, WR, Carthage, 6-5, 181 — committed to North Texas; additional offer from ULM (2)
  • Anthony Sanders, ATH, Athens, 5-11, 185 – offer from ULM (1)
  • Kevin Shorter, RB/S, Newton, 6-0, 190 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Arkansas, Army, Baylor, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Houston, Kansas, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, San Diego State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, ULM, Utah (22)
  • Brian Thlang, OL, Palestine, 6-2, 290 — committed ULM (1)
  • Wesley Thompson, ATH, Chapel Hill, 6-1, 185 — committed to ULM (1)
  • Josh Walker, RB/LB, Gilmer, 6-1, 220 — committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech (4)
  • Tre Walker, RB, Texas High, 5-10, 175 – offer from Navy (1)
  • D.J. Williams, DT, Lufkin, 6-4, 293 — offers from Houston, Miami, Missouri, North Texas, Oklahoma (5)
  • Jeffery Wilson, RB, Elkhart, 6-0, 190 — offers from New Mexico State, North Texas, Texas State, ULM (4)

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