- Tyler Harden
Four-Star Defensive End, Kelze Howard, goes in depth on his commitment to Oregon State
Photo Credit: @1tz_ke1z
Kelze Howard was supposed to visit the University of Oregon for an official visit on June 10, but he instead ended up at Oregon State University. Three weeks later, Howard committed to Oregon State.
Howard, a six-foot, four-inch, 250-pound defensive end from Spring Valley High School in Las Vegas, Nevada committed to Oregon State on July 1. A week after making his commitment, Howard explained his decision to me in an Instagram Live Interview.
His journey to finding Oregon State as his future home is quite ironic, as the other in-state school in the Pac-12 was supposed to see him on campus that weekend.
“They didn’t send me any information or anything, it was like four or five days before…I talked to my positions coach there [Oregon] and he said you have to take an unofficial visit before you take an official visit,” Howard said. “I had two official visits set up before that, and the only reason I didn’t go to them was because my grandmother had passed away…I wasn’t available for those weeks, then they were closed because of the dead period, so I set up an official visit. But then they cancelled it.”
Howard then reached out to Oregon State and scheduled an official visit there. The coaching staff welcomed him with open arms, and he then realized that he was meant to be in Corvallis, Oregon instead of Eugene.
”It was a great atmosphere when I went there; Coach Smith is really building something up there,” Howard said. “I feel like he’s going to have a good opportunity for every kid there.”
Throughout his recruitment, Howard realized he wanted to be part of a program where he could step in right away and make an impact. According to 247sports, Howard is the highest ranked recruit in Oregon State’s recruiting class for the Class of 2023. He is also the eighth highest ranked recruit, according to 247sports, to commit to Oregon State in the modern recruiting era. With his platform, Howard feels he can bring in other highly talented recruits to join him. “Me being a high recruit there, I feel like I could set the tone.”
Another Oregon State recruit that joined Howard on his official visit was three-star wide receiver, David Wells. Wells, who plays at Lakes High School in Lakewood, Washington, was also uncommitted at the time of his official visit to Oregon State. He and Howard grew close on their visit, and Wells committed to the Beavers on June 12.
“David Wells, he was there with me when I went to my official visit, and we was tearing it up, we was going crazy,” Howard said. “We’re all in a group chat, an OSU group chat, with Cole Moore and Coach Smith and all them. We all have a pretty good connection.”
Along with Oregon State, Howard was most interested in schools on the West Coast, such as Utah, Arizona, USC and more. “Utah and U of A [Arizona], those were some good schools for me, and really good options because they really did have some good opportunities for me,” Howard said. USC too. That was my first big time offer, they were one of my No. 1, No. 2 choices throughout my whole recruitment.”
The way Kelze Howard found Oregon State was only meant to be. It wasn’t what he had initially planned, but he found the school that best suits him, and in the end that was all he was looking for.