Jasper Howard

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Jasper Howard
Jasper Howard.jpg
Connecticut HuskiesNo. 6
Cornerback Junior
Major: Exploratory major
Date of birth: (1989-01-28)January 28, 1989
Date of death: October 18, 2009(2009-10-18) (aged 20)
Place of birth: Miami, Florida
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) Weight: 180 lb (82 kg)
Career history
High school: Miami Edison High School
 College(s):
Career highlights and awards
  • 2007 Big East Conference Champion

Jasper Tyrone Howard (January 28, 1989 – October 18, 2009), was a cornerback for the University of Connecticut Huskies from 2007 to 2009. He was fatally stabbed on October 18, 2009, hours after UConn's win over the Louisville Cardinals.

Early life[edit]

Howard grew up in the Little Haiti neighborhood of Miami, an area known for its poverty and violence. His mother JoAngila Howard worked numerous jobs to support Howard and his two younger sisters.[1] His youngest sister had health issues after battling a severe case of meningitis. His plan was to get a football scholarship and go to the NFL to get money and get his family out of the violent streets of Miami. At Miami Edison High School, Howard was an All-Dade County pick as a senior, and named MVP of the annual Nike Dade-Broward All-Star Game after returning a punt 70 yards for a touchdown and making a 45-yard touchdown catch. He was also the team captain.[2]

University of Connecticut[edit]

Howard became the first person in his family to go to college when he enrolled at the University of Connecticut. In his freshman season he played in seven games as a reserve defensive back and on special teams but had no starts. During the offseason he worked hard on the field and it started to pay off. He started all thirteen games in his sophomore season as cornerback and led the Big East Conference in punt returns. During his junior season Howard seemed to be getting better every game.[citation needed] In his last game with the Huskies on October 17, 2009, he had 7 solo tackles and 4 assisted giving him a total of 11 tackles in the game, a career high. In the game he also had a huge fumble recovery.

Death[edit]

Just after midnight on the morning of October 18, Howard and some of his teammates were at an on-campus dance to celebrate the 38-25 homecoming win over Louisville. Jasper was stabbed to death outside the Student Union Center on the UConn campus where the dance was held. On Monday, October 19, 2009 police arrested Johnny Hood, 21, of Hartford, Connecticut. Police said that Hood had been charged with interfering with an officer and with breaching the peace, but that he had not been charged in the stabbing death of Howard.[3]

Subsequently, arrests were made in connection with Howard's murder. John William Lomax III, 21, was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, October 28 on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit assault in the Oct. 18 death of Jasper Howard, police said. His bond was set at $2 million. Police also arrested two other people in connection with the fight that led to Howard's death. Hakim Muhammad, 20, was charged with conspiracy to commit assault and Jamal Todd, 21, faces a felony charge of falsely reporting an incident and a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment for pulling a fire alarm that emptied the dance early that Sunday morning.[4]
On January 14, 2011, Lomax pleaded no contest to first degree manslaughter. On March 25, 2011, Lomax was sentenced to 18 years in prison for first degree manslaughter.

Memorials[edit]

Jasper Howard's #6 jersey held aloft at the 2010 PapaJohns.com Bowl

On Tuesday, October 20, Connecticut students held a Day of Silence in memory of Jasper, during which the community wore dark clothes to indicate that they are united in mourning. The next day there was a candlelight vigil held on campus.[5][6] During the Huskies' game against Big East rival West Virginia in Morgantown, the West Virginia players wore decals on their helmets bearing Howard's initials and displayed Howard's helmet and jersey while they observed a moment of silence; the team carried the helmet and jersey with them on the road through the 2010 season, when Howard would have been a senior. Howard's locker, adorned with letters, cards and the poster board from the Monday night vigil immediately following his death, will also remain decorated until that time. A large mural in the lobby of the Burton Family Football Complex that features former linebacker Alfred Fincher will be replaced with a photo of Howard and a plaque commemorating his life and accomplishments along with the quote said by Jasper after the October 18th win over Louisville, "Play each play like it's the last play you'll ever play." Additionally, Edsall is planning on establishing a foundation that will help urban kids pay for college and also aid families of terminally ill players, something that Howard believed was important.[7] Further, former Miami Edison Senior High School teammate and former Clemson Tigers cornerback Chris Chancellor paid tribute to Howard by changing his number from 38 to 6.[8] [9] During the Fiesta Bowl on January 1, 2011 against the Oklahoma Sooners, teammate Kashif Moore wore Jasper's number six jersey in tribute. Tribute songs were made by Little Haiti rapper Hollywoodyo, entitled "For The Dead".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Howard came to UConn to give family a better life". NewsMeat.com. October 21, 2009. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 
  2. ^ Jasper Howard (1989-01-28). "Player Bio: Jasper Howard - University of Connecticut Official Athletics Site". Uconnhuskies.com. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  3. ^ Arrest made in case of University of Connecticut student-athlete Jasper Howard[dead link]
  4. ^ "Man charged in murder of UConn Huskies' Jasper Howard - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2009-10-27. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  5. ^ "Players Mourn A Teammate - Hartford Courant". Courant.com. 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  6. ^ "UConn Campus Schedule Of Events - University of Connecticut Official Athletics Site". Uconnhuskies.com. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  7. ^ "Topic Galleries". Courant.com. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  8. ^ "Jasper Howard's friend Chris Chancellor of Clemson Tigers to wear No. 6 - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  9. ^ "Jasper Howard's friend Chancellor to Wear No. 6 as Tribute". ESPN. October 20, 2008. Retrieved October 24, 2009. 

External links[edit]