Pirates Profile: Reggie Howard
By: Adam Pasquale Jr
January 4, 2020
I recently had the opportunity to speak with newly acquired defensive lineman Reggie Howard. He signed with the team back in November 2020 and brings a load of experience to the roster. Howard last played for the XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats earlier this year and was a member of the Los Angeles Chargers roster back in 2019. He is motivated by his two younger sons that push him to be his best every day. Howard shared insight on his life, both on and off the field, in this edition of ‘Pirates Profiles’.
For Howard, getting the call from the Pirates was a sigh of relief. He was away from the football field for a few months as COVID-19 continued to spike and derail football seasons for athletes all over the country. Following the XFL’s cancellation back in March, Howard wasn’t sure where his next stop would be in his football career.
“When the Pirates reached out to me I was very happy,” said Howard. “I hadn’t played football since March so I was very excited to get back to playing the game I love again.”
Howard is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and attended Withrow High School, where he shined on the football field and the basketball court as the team’s starting small forward. His athletic ability was obvious from a very young age, and Howard shared a funny memory from his youth that many young football players can only dream of doing.
“One of my favorite memories during my football career so far was back in Pop Warner when I used to jump over the center to sack the quarterback. I was around six or seven when I first did it. That’s not something you see very often at that level.”
Following his high school career, Howard had a division one offer from Kent State, but chose to go to junior college instead. In his sophomore season, he played in 11 games and recorded 60 tackles, seven sacks, and two forced fumbles. Howard then made the transition to division one, as he played his final two seasons of college football at the University of Toledo. In his senior season, Howard led his team in tackles for loss with 15. His 4 sacks were good for second-best on the team. As a junior, he played in all 14 games for the Rockets.
“After my junior college experience came to an end in 2016, I decided to go to Toledo because they had a great coaching staff,” said Howard. “From the minute I stepped onto the campus I felt welcomed and they showed me a different kind of love from the start.”
Before his time in the XFL, Howard was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Los Angeles Chargers in April 2019. He was later released by the team in August 2019. He says that he is extremely thankful for that opportunity and learned a lot from it.
“It was a blessing, and I learned so much. Throughout the experience, it was truly a blessing, and it is honestly hard to explain,” Howard adds. “It was like a movie, and it was a dream come true.”
Howard is supported by his two young sons, aged two and one years old. His kids are his biggest motivation as he looks to make them proud every day he wakes up.
If it wasn’t for football, Howard believes he would be working on a different line of defense as his passion for helping others stands very strong.
“If I wasn’t playing football, I would probably be a firefighter. It’s something I used to want to do as a young kid so I believe I would’ve taken that path if it wasn’t for football.”
His hobbies away from the football field include working out, staying fit, and spending time with his family. He just started getting into yoga this offseason as well. He hopes the yoga will help his flexibility and improve his game on the field.
Football has taught Howard many lessons up to this point in his career. From the ups and downs of playing to having to adjust to new situations, he says the main thing he has learned is to work hard no matter the circumstances.
“I learned to never give up and just play one play at a time. It’s all about the little things, from the techniques and training behind the scenes. If you just keep your head down and work hard, everything will come together.”
Recently, he took his two sons to the zoo to see Christmas lights. As a very caring man and father, he loves bringing joy to his children’s faces.
“They loved going to the zoo and seeing all the animals. If my kids are happy then I am too. There is nothing better for me than seeing my boys smile.”
After his football career is completed, he believes his next journey will be giving back to the less fortunate. It is very important to Howard that people in unfortunate situations have equal opportunity and a better life in the future.
“One day, I want to give back to less fortunate people in different cities and countries. In this pandemic, most people aren’t working and need money and food, so my main goal is to help them one day and get them back on their feet.”
Howard remains focused for his first season with the Pirates. He hopes this next chapter of his football career will lead him back to his ultimate goal of being in the NFL. When the Pirates host their first home game of the season on April 10th, make sure to tune in and watch Reggie Howard make plays on the Pirates defensive line!
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