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Heisman Winner Howard Will Run for the Money

January 22, 1992|From Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard listened to Rocket Ismail, Magic Johnson, Bo Schembechler and his parents before deciding to forgo a final year of eligibility at Michigan and play pro football.

But when announcement time came, he told no one, not even his parents.

"When he called, he just told me to come here," said Howard's mother, Hattie, who received a call in Cleveland from her son about midnight Monday. "We learned it when you all learned it."

Howard, whose touchdown catches twice put him on the cover of Sports Illustrated last fall and earned him college football's highest honor, said he had nothing left to prove at Michigan, as an athlete or as a student.

"There was nothing new that I could have done, maybe break a few more records, but as far as awards and accolades are concerned, once you've won the Heisman, then most people in college football think that you've done it all," Howard said.

"All I would have been striving for if I would have come back would be the national championship," he said.

Michigan lost to eventual national champion Washington in the Rose Bowl.

Howard will graduate in May with a degree in communications. He had a 3.44 grade-point average in the fall term. His year of eligibility remains because Howard was a redshirt as a freshman.

Last season, he caught 19 touchdown passes, tying a single-season NCAA record, ran for two and returned one punt and one kickoff for touchdowns. During his career, he caught 134 passes for 2,146 yards and 32 touchdowns.

Howard said the bidding now can begin for his services. He said he is open to playing in the NFL or the Canadian Football League. He will also begin what he called a screening process for an agent.

The Indianapolis Colts have the No. 1 draft pick in the NFL.

"At this stage, it's a business," Howard said. "In the business world, it's about marketability. You go to the highest bidder."

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