[to top of second column]
Howard hated not being there to help. During his freshman year, he considered dropping out of school and going to work.
"He told me he was ready to go home," Dabney said. "He wanted to help his mom and his sisters, but coach Edsall took him under his wing, he told him everything was going to be all right and ever since that day on, Jazz was doing work and Jazz was playing hard on the field."
Cornerback Darius Butler, now with the New England Patriots, mentored him.
Howard played as a true freshman and started as a sophomore, leading the Big East in punt returns. This year, his junior season, Howard was becoming a standout.
On Saturday night, he was out with a few teammates, celebrating a big homecoming win over Louisville, a game in which he starred. He had 11 tackles, and stripped and recovered a key fumble in the 38-25 victory.
Howard and his friends went to a dance at the student union. A fire alarm was pulled at about 12:30 a.m. A crowd poured outside and police believe an altercation ensued.
Someone pulled a knife and stabbed Howard.
One fatal wound. Two teammates tried in vain to help him as he lay bleeding.
There was nothing anyone could do.
On Monday, Howard's family visited the campus and met with his teammates. His mother hugged every one.
His stepfather, Henry Williams, said hearing how his son touched so many lives has made his death a bit easier.
"This was Jazz's second family," Williams said. "He treated it like that. When he came here, he fell in love with this place. And it make me feel good and it makes his mother feel good to see the love that came from this place, to see the things he learned here and to see what he left here, 'cause he touched a lot of people here."
Edsall said nobody will wear Howard's No. 6 jersey until after he would have graduated next season.
"And when it is given out, it will only be given out to a very, very special person that has the same qualities that Jazz had," Edsall said.
In the meantime, the jersey will travel with the team for road games.
A funeral service is being planned in Miami on Monday. The entire UConn team will be there.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Sports index
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor