Howard remembered for his heart
MIAMI - Slain University of Connecticut cornerback Jasper “Jazz’’ Howard was talented, yet humble, played football with swagger and heart and deeply loved his family.
Hundreds of mourners heard those words at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Miami about the 20-year-old former South Florida high school football standout who was fatally stabbed during an altercation on campus in Storrs, Conn., early Oct. 18. No one has been charged in his death.
“He was someone who had a tremendous heart, and for the people here in this community, and for the family, he was on track for greatness,’’ said Huskies coach Randy Edsall, his voice at times wavering. “He was going to graduate. He was going to have his degree. He was doing everything to make himself the best student, the best person, and the best athlete that he could be.’’
It was Edsall who called Howard’s mother to tell her of her first-born’s death and the coach identified Howard’s body.
“I can’t describe [my feelings] right now, but I’m going to make it,’’ Howard’s mother, JoAngila, said at the cemetery. “I’m hurting, but I’m going to make it.’’
Edsall was among those who stood in praise of Howard at his funeral, along with UConn players, friends, and former coaches, including Corey Bell, the director of football operations at the University of Miami.
“He was the ultimate son, he was the ultimate brother,’’ Edsall said. “He was the ultimate teammate. He was the ultimate friend. They didn’t come any better than Jazz.’’
Howard’s teammate and wide receiver Kashif Moore told mourners, “Jazz loved to have fun, make people laugh. He had a good strong heart. I think he got that from his mother.’’