by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
He's the class king without trying to be...
He's the dominant quarterback flipping the script of what is possible for a high school quarterback....
He's the son of a famous LSU Tiger...
He's the solid friend and Grade A teammate.....
He's the transcendent five star quarterback who committed to the Tigers long ago....
He's the 2x state champion from St Thomas More....
He's the kid from Louisiana....running down a dream...
Walker Howard wears many hats, so to speak, but at his core he's still the same young stunner who patiently sat backup to current La Tech QB Caleb Holstein for two seasons....
Throughout the long wait, somehow Louisiana's thoroughbred quarterback continued to remain patient; When he grabbed his chance during an unforgettable title-winning campaign in 2020, he stayed grounded even after the enhanced attention, Elite 11 invites, and 5 star ranking.
In the wake of his breathtaking junior year, the national recruiting media finally began paying attention to the Bayou QB Prodigy, and from thereafter, his celebrity factor couldn't be denied:
As a stone cold LSU commit and popular young Tiger, the staff loved seeing him around campus this past June, actively recruiting 2022 classmates, and hanging out for nearly every potential teammate's LSU visit.
His magnetism was infectious, creating tight friendships with many Tiger commits, including Jake Johnson and Will Campbell among many others.
Everyone wants to hang out with Walker Howard, bro.
Still, I feel this young man is a force to be reckoned with...one who is still being overlooked, even as he receives plenty of plaudits, acclaim and love from around the recruiting world.
I don't think high school and college football fans understand just how damn good Walker Howard is right now and can be in the future.
Roll back the Howard tape and you see a stunning incident where Walker anticipates two pass rushers by sensing their presence, barely avoiding a potential painful sack sandwich from both sides without ever needing to turn his head....taking off from the collapsing pocket and picking up a key first down without a moment's hesitation.
Flip on that footage and we witness a young man taking the game into his own hands with full confidence, specifically having the cajones to throw a bulleted side arm pass through traffic as he dove horizontally away from pressure......do I have to tell you the miraculous Mahomes-esque play ended in a touchdown?
Or what about his clutch performance throughout the 2020 state title game vs De La Salle???
Alongside LSU commit Jack Bech's record breaking 232 yard game or Tigers walk-on Carter Arceneaux's heroic contributions, Walker had the game of his life during that epic showdown:
While he would finish with 381 yards and 4 TDs, as the 4th quarter ticked away, St Thomas More somehow found themselves on the brink of defeat:
Down 28-27 with 5:31 left and facing a tough 3rd and 15, immediately after snapping the ball, Walker faced ridiculous pressure from his left......at that moment, most would've bet their lives on a drive killing sack.
As the slow motion scenario unfolded, Walker half bracing for impact, half looking for an escape....the situation looked impossibly dire.
Turning just in the nick of time as the defender caught his jersey rather than the bulk of his torso, Walker spun away to the right, escaping from the pocket somehow some way...yet there were more defenders on his trail.
Howard peeled out towards the sideline before suddenly cutting back through a mess of blockers and chaotic broken tackles, twisting, stiff-arming and slithering his way to an implausible 3rd down conversion.
Despite the pandemic keeping crowd numbers lower, the audience assembled went berserk.
Later on during the game-winning drive, Walker executed a perfect flea flicker pass down the field for an outstretched Carter Arceneaux, the current Tiger making a sacrificial diving catch while absorbing a nasty hit. This expert grab placed St Thomas More within striking distance of the go ahead touchdown...and considering their quarterback possessed the mind of an assassin, the 5 star LSU commit wasn't about to let the opportunity slip away.
Only a few plays later, the team's championship destiny was sealed for the second consecutive season in emphatic fashion:
Howard picked apart the defense for his 4th touchdown pass of the night, ripping a full throttle sizzler through the teeth of the defense to Paxton Perret.
A moment two years in the waiting was now complete....
Selfless to the bone, his great season is all the more powerful when you realize the scope of his influence...with Walker at quarterback, genuine talents were finally unleashed to LSU's recruiting universe, catching the eye of WRs Coach Mickey Joseph in particular:
At the end of his close friend Jack Bech's final STM season, Walker sent his pal out in the highest fashion possible, holding back to back state titles alongside an unassailable offensive resume (14 TDs in 9 games with Walker), both of which finally drew the offers he'd deserved all along.
Such was the magic of St Thomas More's 2020 passing game, the team's brilliant play also displayed Carter Arceneaux's underrated aerial abilities, eventually paving the way for his own walk on path as a 2021 LSU Tiger.
Now, as Walker gears up for his senior season at St Thomas More, backed by an early enrollee entry into LSU next January, the young slinger has his eyes on developing his game and pushing himself to the limit....every day.
Not satisfied with a few lackadaisical, cavalier mistakes from his first year starting, Howard isn't resting on his laurels or content heading into his final year at St Thomas More.
But why is the national media overlooking him?
247 Sports still have Walker ranked as a 4 star prospect, the 4th overall quarterback of the class, and 2nd overall player out of Louisiana.
When #1 rated 2022 QB Quinn Ewers or 2023 juggernauts Eli Holstein and Arch Manning receive all the headline love, I can't help but feel a playmaker of Walker's magnitude is being disrespected.
I've watched as much Quinn Ewers as I can find...of course, the Ohio State commit is a sure-fire great quarterback, pumping out 73 touchdowns over his past two seasons as a starter in Texas, but the filth I witness from Walker Howard is transcendent nuclear football at its explosive ultimate.
Parental discretion is advised.....
The fact he only surrendered an interception once every 72 passes, 4 interceptions from 288 overall attempts....that's nuts (Regardless of Quinn Ewers' spectacular sophomore year numbers, Ewers dipped slightly last year, throwing a pick once every 48 passes & 7 fewer touchdowns than Walker in 2020; Howard also holds a stronger QBR & yards per attempt....all while playing against elite competition in Louisiana).
I will wager that when all is said and done, no other quarterback from the 2022 class will be able to match Walker Howard's playmaking, his efficiency, statistical output, his overall influence on wins and losses...
Ladies and gentlemen....we have a juggernaut on our hands.
By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc
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