- 2012 ALL-BIG TEN HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): Travis Howard, Ohio State, has been selected Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches selection) for the 2012 college football season. Howard enjoyed a solid senior season at his cornerback spot, picking off three passes in the first two games and finishing the year with four to lead the Big Ten. He finished the year with 40.0 tackles, with a season-high 8.0 in the win over UAB. - Ohio State football
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Strengths: Howard has good height and length for the position and matches up physically with receivers. He is an aggressive run defender, filling run lanes hard and throwing his body around on tackle attempts. Howard has the foot quickness to mirror the actions of receivers and play tight coverage. He does a nice job reading the eyes of the QB and isn't afraid to come off his man to make a play, driving quickly on plays. Howard has good ballskills and does a nice job getting his hands on the ball with eight interceptions and 20 passes defended over his career.
Weaknesses: Howard lacks a natural feel deep and needs to do a better job locating, gaining position and playing the ball. He has room to improve his timing and cover technique, playing too undisciplined and hands-on, which attracted several pass interference penalties. Howard needs to understand situations better often either giving up too much of a cushion or not enough, lacking the necessary make-up speed or fluidity to recover. He is too much of a hitter and doesn't always wrap up, lowering his head too early and playing with inconsistent tackling fundamentals. Howard bites too easily on fakes and plays wild at times, allowing big plays. He has a lean frame and battled shoulder stingers throughout 2012.
NFL Comparison: Robert Blanton, CB, Minnesota Vikings - Similar strengths (size, length and physical nature), but also weaknesses (suspect technique in coverage and as a tackler)
-- Dane Brugler