Making a difference

When Jon Howard was deliberating over where he would embark on his CIS career, one school’s pitch stood out.

Burlington running back newest addition to OUA team’s 2014 class.

Consequently, the 5’10, 175 pound running back from Burlington, Ontario recently committed to the York Lions for the 2014 OUA season.

The Lions were relentless in their courting attempts for Howard.  Ultimately, Howard was impressed with what opportunities the Toronto, Ontario campus could offer him, especially when it came to his gridiron future.

“The coaches showed a true interest in me over the last two seasons and truly believed that I can be successful at the CIS level,” reflected Howard of the recruitment process involving the Lions.  “When they told me that I was the guy they want to come in and compete right away and that they truly believed I could be successful, that right away grabbed at me.”

“The level of respect and how invested they were into recruiting me really went a long way to me, I didn’t feel pressured or like I would be lost in the system, I felt as if they believed I could help make a difference.”

Moreover, the Lions offensive unit appealed to the Ontario standout because of the familiarity of the style of play.

“York’s running attack has greatly improved the last few seasons and being a running back I do love to get the ball and just go with it,” assessed Howard.  “The offense that York runs is also somewhat similar to the offense from my high school MM Robinson so I felt that I could pick it up quickly and be ready for when the coaches need me to go.”

Jon Howard 2

Howard joins the Lions after enjoying a successful high school career with MM Robinson Rams of the Halton Secondary School Athletic Association (HSSAA).  He guided the Rams to a 2012 OFSAA Bowl Series appearance.  In the 2012 playoffs, he racked up over 1000 rushing yards.  In final three games against opponents Cardinal Newman Cardinals, Westdale Warriors and Lakeshore Catholic Gators, he scored eight touchdowns and 700 rushing yards.

“Last season when my high school won the Halton championships it was an amazing experience,” recalled the Rams running back.  “We got to go on and play in the Rogers Centre.”

“That experience itself only made my desire to go further with football even bigger. My offensive line made up of Nick Firlit, Charlie White, Dylan Anderson, Billy Stark and Ryan Price…. without those boys up front I wouldn’t have been nearly as successful as I was.”

In addition to the Rams, Howard has played for Burlington Stampeders of the Ontario Football Conference.  In 2012, he led Team Ontario West to a bronze at the Football Canada Cup in London, Ontario.  For his efforts on the field, he was chosen as game MVP.

“All the coaches and teammates I have had throughout my life are the reason why I am where I am today and I thank them for that from the bottom of my heart,” expressed Howard.


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