Howard leaves USM football program


The Southern Miss quarterback position lost a former starter last week. Former Laurel signal caller Keon Howard announced he was leaving the program via his Twitter account last Thursday.

“It is with great regret that I inform you of my decision to not continue my education and football career at The University of Southern Miss,” Howard said in his statement. “I would like to thank the coaching staff, my teammates, staff members, student body and others who have supported me. I will not forget the moments spent battling at The Rock with my teammates and the loyalty from the fans in victory or defeat. These past few years I have enjoyed my getting to know everyone that is involved with Southern Miss football. I would like to thank everyone for the help and support that I have received. My love for Southern Miss will continue to reign on as I wish you guys continued success next season.”

Howard didn’t announce if or where he was transferring in the statement.

In his career, he appeared in 10 games and collected 1,564 yards on 54 percent passing with nine touchdowns and nine interceptions. He started three games as a true freshman when senior Nick Mullens went down with an injury, then started the 2017 season opener against Kentucky.

The Golden Eagles’ quarterback position got a little crowded since Howard stepped on campus. Redshirt senior Kwadra Griggs was sitting out due to the transfer rules during Howard’s freshman season, then redshirt freshman Marcelo Rodriguez and junior college transfer Jack Abraham arrived on campus each of the last two recruiting cycles.

Griggs missed spring practice while recovering from an injury, and Rodriguez and Abraham are expected to push for the starting role when fall practice begins.