Thursday night, Southern Miss fans checked Twitter to find that junior quarterback Keon Howard announced that he will no longer be playing football at Southern Miss or attending the school.
Howard played two seasons at Southern Miss and accumulated 1,564 passing yards, nine passing touchdowns, 331 rushing yards, and two rushing TDs in that time. The Laurel, Mississippi, native started seven games in 2017, playing in nine. Last year Howard split time with Kwadra Griggs at the position.
The Golden Eagles added quarterback Jack Abraham in the offseason as a transfer from Northwest Community College via Louisiana Tech. Abraham, Griggs, and Howard all looked set to battle for playing time at quarterback in fall camp, but that’s obviously no longer the case with Howard stepping away.
Howard hasn’t indicated whether or not the position battle factored into his decision, but it wouldn’t be the first time a player left a program in search of more concrete opportunities for game time. Howard still has a redshirt to use, which will come in handy at whatever team he ends up transferring to.
He leaves a team that went 8-5 in 2017 and made a bowl game. Many Southern Miss fans will keep fond memories of Howard after seeing him make plays like this in a USM uniform.