Quarterback Keon Howard announced via Twitter on Thursday night that he is leaving Southern Miss. Howard, a former Laurel standout, was preparing to enter his junior season in Hattiesburg.
“Dear USM Family, it is with great regret that I inform you of my decision to not continue my education and football career at the University of Southern Mississippi,” Howard wrote. “I would like to thank the coaching staff, my teammates, staff members, student body, and others who have supported me. I will not forget the moments spent battling at The Rock with my teammates and the loyalty from the fans in victory or defeat. These past few years I have enjoyed my time getting to know everyone that is involved with Southern Miss Football. I would like to thank everyone for the help and support that I have received. My love for Southern Miss will continue to reign on as I wish you guys continued success next season.”
Howard started in nine games for the Golden Eagles the last two seasons. Seven of them came during his sophomore campaign in 2017 as Howard passed for 1199 yards and eight touchdowns.
Howard, considered a 3-star prospect by 247 Sports, signed with Southern Miss in February of 2016, picking the Golden Eagles over Memphis, Louisville and Mississippi State. Prior to signing day, Howard was a four-year starter at Laurel, where he passed for over 11,000 career yards and accounted for 149 total touchdowns, according to MaxPreps. He also led the program to a state championship win over Oxford in 2014.
At this point in time, it’s unclear where Howard’s next stop will be.
His departure leaves Southern Miss with eight quarterbacks on the roster heading into the 2018 season. It also likely makes the quarterback competition a little simpler as frontrunners Kwadra Griggs and Jack Abraham are expected to battle it out to see who starts against Jackson State on Sept. 1.