Julian Howsare dominated at the Division 2 level and within minutes of the 2015 NFL draft ending, he was fielding numerous calls and invitations to minicamp. When you go undrafted, you hope that you're a priority free agent for at least one team, the call that comes in immedaitely following the final pick. For Julian that call came from the Jets and he was only too happy to make his way to New York
"I had a couple other teams calling, but in the end I felt the New York Jets were the best for me," Howsare said. "I loved what they were about defensively and everyone associated with the organization. I could not be happier with the decision I made."
I haven't seen a great deal of Julian and I'm always cautious about basing an opinion on a highlight video, but when I did watch him, two things were plainly obvious to me:
1- He was a man among boys, faster, stronger and smarter than most lineman he was coming up against
2- It was a crime that this player was not playing Division 1 football and getting more attention.
He's quick, he's smart, he uses his hands well, he has strength and confidence and he plays with good leverage and technique. He was playing against guys who were smaller, slower and not as technically gifted as him, but sometimes that doesn't always equal dominance. Luckily for Howsare and for the Jets it did. His statistics are extremely impressive
43 games, 256 tackles, 39 sacks, 57 tackles for a loss, 3 interceptions, 14 pass break-ups and 10 blocked kicks.At 6'3 and 255lb's he'll likely be fighting for one of the OLB spots available on the roster and lets be honest, we need to get better and younger at that position. if you can do that without spending a draft pick, you've won the lottery.
"OTAs are a great chance for me to continue to learn the playbook and get more comfortable with the defense," he said. "We have meetings, practice and training during the day so there is plenty of opportunities for me to learn everyday."
However it won't be easy, the Jets carry 12 linebackers right now and several are guaranteed roster spots. Howsare will need to make the most of every single snap he receives if he hopes to catch the eye of Todd Bowles, but someone like Howsare lives for a challenge, and this is no different:
"Clarion did a great job in preparing me for the NFL and the real world," he said. "I learned a lot in my years at Clarion University that have helped me greatly in the last couple weeks. I learned so much from the coaching staff and left there with a lot of useful football knowledge."
It's going to be interesting to see how he performs through minicamp and through training camp. Fan expectations are on the rise and the division 2 prospect has a long way to go, but if you've got the talent and you've got the work ethic, there is a good chance you'll stick somewhere.