Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater wide receiver Alton Howard is about as electric of an athlete that you will find. Despite being undersized at 5-foot-9, 170-pounds, Howard had a lengthy offer list and numerous other major programs following him by the conclusion of spring. Now, the Central Florida prospect has narrowed things down to a more manageable list of suitors.
"I am down to UCF, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, South Carolina, and Cincinnati," Howard said. "They aren't in any kind of order. I don't have one favorite at this point."
The four-star wide receiver talked about each of his favorites.
UCF: "Me and Coach (David) Kelly, we have a great connection. He is like a mentor to me. Whenever I go there and visit UCF or talk to him, he always gives me advice about everything. Also, my brother (Quincy McDuffie) recently attended UCF and likes it a lot. It is just a great place that is close to home."
Florida: "Me and Aubrey Hill have a close connection. They always treat me well when I am there and I feel like I am at home. The coaching staff loves me. They have great energy. I can relate to them. I am close to Pop Saunders there as well as Jeff Driskel."
Cincinnati: "Coach (Mark) Elder has been recruiting me hard since day one. They have been to my school a few times to see me. They came to my spring practices. When we talk, we don't just talk about football, we talk about things in general and we have really built a connection. I just see how interested they are in me."
West Virginia: "Coach David Lockwood is recruiting me hard also. We have a good connection. He came to see me twice during the spring. We talk probably two or three times a week through different things like Facebook. They treat me well. I just like how hard he is recruiting me."
South Carolina: "Coach (Jeep) Hunter has also been after me since day one when I first met him. He said he wanted me so I knew he was going to try to get me no matter what. He has stayed in regular contact and continuously sends me letters and is hitting me up with e-mails. When I call him we talk about a lot of different things. He has come to see me a lot. When I visited there he showed me a lot of attention. That is just one those schools that is a great school and a great football program in the SEC."
Tennessee: "Tennessee hasn't offered me yet, but they are showing interest. They came to see me during spring practice. My cousin now attends there, that is (running back) Tom Smith. It is a great football program with a nice stadium that seats 105,000 people. There is just a great vibe to them. Me and the coaches have begun to build a good connection. They are on the side of my top five in a way, but I am not going to give up on them. There is a possibility things can turn out good with them."
Howard has previously visited UCF, Florida, and South Carolina. He plans to visit Tennessee in mid-July. As for Cincinnati and West Virginia, those will likely be visits reserved for the fall when Howard intends to use all five of his official visits. When on those visits, he hopes to learn all of the details about his future that he needs in order to make an informed decision.
"I am looking for the school that treats me overall the best and where I have the best connection with the coaches," Howard said. "I am also looking at their facilities, their football program, and how the place makes me feel overall. I also want to know how a school intends to use me."
As for his final decision, that will come at some point during the fall.
"I think I will decide probably around the end of November," Howard said. "I am going to be a mid-year graduate."
As a junior, Howard had 60 receptions for 1,146 yards. He added 546 rushing yards. In total, he scored 23 touchdowns, 15 of which came through the air.