CLEMSON - Ben Boulware might be an interesting case study as it relates to nature vs. nurture. When…
Culture of encouragement
"When it's your opportunity to make plays, get out there and make plays," D.J. Howard said. "I'm working behind and encouraging. I want Zac [Brooks] to be the starter. I'm encouraging him. Same with C.J. [Davidson] and the same way they encourage me.
"So, at the end of the day, whoever the starter is, it's the best decision. Whether it's me or not, I'm happy, because I know the coaches made the best decision."
Don't get him wrong, Howard does want to be the No. 1 running back during his senior year.
"But, if I'm not the guy, I'm cool with it, because I just got beat. It's a simple fact, I got beat out," he said. "But I'm not going to hang my head on it, because I got beat out. I'm going to keep working to be the best that I can be."
Entering last season, Howard had 76 carries for 368 yards and three touchdowns. As a redshirt junior, he rushed 57 times for 213 yards and two scores.
"Coming up, I had to battle through a lot of injuries," Howard said, when reflecting on his career. "But, now, I look back and there's nothing I can do about it, but just keep working and staying positive. That's what I'm doing now.
"I've gotten healthy, staying in the weight room to prevent injuries, staying positive and keeping myself encouraged. I'm coming with a great attitude every day. Those are my biggest concerns."
Regardless of his role on the field this season, the senior from Lincoln, Alabama is embracing his job away from it.
While speaking with CUTigers during spring practice, Howard shared some a few details of a conversation he had with the other running backs.
"I was like, ‘I ain't going to lie to y'all boys. I'm nervous, because this time next year, I don't know where I'm going to be at. Y'all boys know where y'all are going to be. Y'all are going to be working and grinding.
"'I want y'all boys to keep that in mind, keep on grinding while you can, don't wait ‘til your senior year to be the best you can. Do it now. Once senior year gets here, you don't have a redo…do it now.'"
CUTigers.com Recommended Stories
Rivalry Week on Scout
Build yourself a sky-high left-over turkey sandwich, cover it in a creamy sauce of hate, and get ready to scream!Read More
7 Facts About the 2014 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe
These were lessons we were extremely happy to learn.Read More
Outdoorsman's Gift Guide: Christmas 2014
Finding just the right present for that special someone can be a challenge, so we’ve compiled a wide variety of hunting, fishing and outdoor gifts that you—or Santa—can deliver this Christmas.Read More
Gains in Wheeled Combat Vehicles Closing Gaps
Do advances in wheeled combat vehicles signal that they can now deliver the same mobility as tracked systems in deep mud or sand dunes?Read More
Morris to SMU?
Tonight it was reported that Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris will be SMU's next head coach. Stay with Pony Stampede as we work to confirm!Read More