FEATURED: Travin Howard
Nov. 9, 2017
This feature article originally appeared in the TCU Gameday Program, which is free to all fans at each TCU football home game. Each week, GoFrogs.com will publish the features from the previous edition of the TCU Gameday Program.
by Kennedy Harvey, TCU Athletics Communications Intern
With a family of football players, you could say that TCU senior Travin Howard was born to play the game. He loved watching his older brother play and wanted to start as soon as he could. He took the field for the first time in third grade, playing flag football, and worked his way up to be the first in his family to play college ball.
“I was originally committed to UTSA,” recalled Howard. “TCU gave me a call at the last minute, one week before signing day. I came up here, I loved it, they gave me an offer, and my family thought this was the best fit for me.”
Howard was convinced that TCU was the right place for him in that the football team is very family oriented. Being a senior, with memories and friendships to last a lifetime, he knows he made the right choice. One relationship he has loved building is that with head coach Gary Patterson.
“Coach P and I are pretty tight,” said Howard. “I feel like I’m older now and I can go talk to him about anything. He loves to help whenever he can. I’ve noticed our relationship grow over the years, especially with the role I’m in now as a leader on this team.”
At the end of each season, the football team has a meeting to vote on which players will make up the leadership council. As for the four captains, Patterson chooses who he feels will best fit the leadership role for the team that day. This season, Howard is one of the captains.
“Being captain means a lot to me,” said Howard. “You obviously have a lot on your plate, people look up to you to make good decisions and do the things that are right. People are always watching even when you think they are not. You always have to be a leader.”
Many people refer to the linebacker’s strong work ethic when talking about him and this is no doubt one of the reasons he was chosen as a team captain. He understands the impact he can have on the younger players, and knows the importance of his role.
“I feel like I am a hard worker,” admitted Howard. “As a leader and a captain of the team, you have to be. People look at you even when you don’t think you are. You have to have good character and you have to have a good work ethic.”
Looking back to his first day on the TCU football field, Howard remembers admiring the seniors on the team.
“I can tell you the exact date - June 1, 2014. Coming in, I was playing with all these grown men. Now I’m in their shoes and now I’m the person people are looking up to. It’s an honor.” While he looked up to these senior players, it was no doubt intimidating playing with these men who seemed so much older.
“When I came to college, playing at the next level, I came here thinking that I’m playing with grown men. The first thing anyone told me was ‘it’s still football; Football is football.”
Howard was not always a star linebacker on the TCU’s defense, he was recruited to play safety. His first experience at the linebacker position came in his sophomore year when TCU needed to fill the spot. Remembering the advice he got on his first day at TCU, that “football is football,” Howard was up for the challenge.
“At first it was difficult, but I was just playing football. Going in at linebacker, I was filling the role we needed at the time, and I just ran with it. Things kind of fit.”
With another demonstration of his hard work ethic, Howard moved from a back-up safety to a starting linebacker. He clearly put in time on and off the field, learning the position, earning his spot as a first-team All Big 12 linebacker and leading TCU in tackles for two consecutive seasons. Howard currently has 60 total tackles just more than halfway through his final season, leading the Frogs in tackles for the third straight year.
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