ORLANDO, Fla. - After his team's season ended with a 31-20 loss to Tampa (Fla.) Plant, Miramar (Fla.) five-star cornerback Tracy Howard could only give credit to the victors for jumping on them early on.
"They came out on fire," Howard said. "Sometimes it is hard to catch back up."
With his season now concluded, one of the top prospects in the Sunshine State is turning his attention to his recruitment.
Article Continues Below
"I am just still trying to weigh my options," Howard said.
"Personally, I don't feel I can go wrong going to any school," Howard added. "I feel it is up to the player to produce. LSU, Alabama - I feel like it don't matter where you go. I just want a family bond and a place that feels like home."
The 6-foot, 170-pound defensive back had originally planned to make his decision in early January during the U.S. Army All-American Game, but that is now unlikely.
"I think I am maybe going to delay it," Howard said. "I have to take my visit to LSU and Alabama. I am not going to take that before the Army Game. So I want to wait.
Howard said he would likely head to Alabama for an official visit immediately after the U.S. Army All-American Game. That is one of two destinations he knows of today.
As for the fifth visit, a leading candidate for that trip is the in-state Florida Gators.
"If I am really considering Florida, then why not take that visit but I have to talk about that with Coach Carter, my mom, my parents," Howard said.
Florida did their best to convince Howard and his family that he should visit as members of the Gators coaching staff, including Will Muschamp sat with his family during the state championship game.
"We have a great relationship," Howard said. Me and Coach T-Rob (Travaris Robinson) and me and Coach Muschamp, we have a great relationship. They sat up in the stands with my family. I have a great relationship with those guys. I like Florida a lot."
The Gators are competing with an out-of-state school for that fifth visit.
"I might take a visit to USC or Florida, with Florida I have been there so many times so why go there again," Howard said.
"USC, it is very far. I have been to Oregon (for The Opening) and I won't say I didn't like it but it is very far. I was ready to come back home," Howard added. "I might take a trip and see how I fit in."
One other school that also remains in the picture is the Miami Hurricanes. One thing favoring Al Golden and company is that Howard's close friend and high school teammate has pledged to the Hurricanes.
"With Miami, I like them a little bit with them being a background (backyard) school," Howard said. "My best friend is going there, Malcolm Lewis, so they are still in the mix.
While a lot of the talk was about upcoming visits, Howard has already taken a pair of official visits. He has visited West Virginia, who has a long-standing relationship with Miramar, as well as Florida State.
This past week a pair of assistants from the Seminoles did an in-home visit with him.
"Coach Gran and Coach Stoops are great coaches," Howard said. "They have had great careers. I like those guys."
"They talked a lot about the cornerback position," Howard added. "I think they really need help, just from me watching also. Other guys might be leaving, they might not be. But at the same time they still need help with Mike Harris leaving.
"Those guys need a lot of help," Howard added. "I can fit in good in their system."
Howard gave no specific timeline for when he will make his announcement.