The 90 Illini #41: Jake Howe July 22, 2012
6′-3″, 295 lbs.
rs-Sophomore (on scholarship, 3 years to play 3)
McHenry HS / McHenry, Illinois
ALE Ranking last year: #62
ALE Ranking in 2010: #87
What I Know About Him:
I know we brought him in as a fullback. The way I remember it, Paul Petrino came on as the offensive coordinator in December of 2009 and saw the need for a fullback in his pro-set offense. He found Jake Howe in McHenry, Illinois and some kid named Jay Prosch in Mobile, Alabama. Both picked the Illini, Prosch became our starting fullback as a true freshman, and Howe… added 50 lbs moved to defensive tackle.
What I Expect From Him:
This fall, I think his role is clear. He’s Akeem Spence’s backup at the nose guard position. Spence can’t play every down, so Howe’s job will be similar to Craig Wilson and Wisdom Onyegbule last year – provide quality backup minutes whether it’s mop-up time against Indiana or leading by three at Penn State. He’ll take this year to learn the nuances of being a Big Ten defensive tackle, and then next year…
Next year he’s likely in line to start. But he’ll have some competition, both from the freshmen that debut this fall (Teko Powell, Vontrell Williams) and the freshmen that will arrive next year (Kenton Gibbs, Merrick Jackson). As I’ve mentioned with other D-Tackles, Keith Gilmore likes to play “two pair and a spare”, so chances are, Howe will be in that rotation for the next three years. Whether it’s starter or backup or “spare”, we shall see.