UConn’s Jasper Howard Mourned, Remembered

Douglas Healey / AP Photo

Douglas Healey / AP Photo

The inexplicably tragic passing of UConn cornerback Jasper Howard shook the UConn community and the State of Connecticut yesterday morning.  The UConn Blog has posted a touching video of Howard’s UConn highlights, as well as a number of links to coverage of Howard.

In a wonderful article, Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant wrote of Howard:

He had come to UConn from Miami to play football, the first in his family to attend college. A junior cornerback, he lived for the game. He wanted nothing more than to play professional football, to follow in the footsteps of Patriots defensive back Darius Butler. He wanted nothing more in life than to take care of his mom Joangila, a mom who had worked multiple jobs to keep him clothed and fed.

UConn coach Randy Edsall said of Howard’s passing:

“One of my sons has been taken away.”

Perhaps there was no better tribute than that of Howard’s UConn teammate, Desi Cullen:

Before this morning, people may have looked at him as a teammate, as a friend but ever since he stepped foot on this campus he was our brother. A lot of guys on this team come from tougher backgrounds, that may not have the family support of other people but when you come here, invest the time and effort for as long as we do, you create a bond that can never be broken – that’s thicker than blood. That’s one of the things Jazz achieved while he was here, building a bond that will never be broken and never be forgotten.

Hearing the news that he’s a father breaks my heart. The idea that he will grow up without his father tears me apart, just to think what it would be like for that young child. But as Jazz looks down on us I can promise him and his family that son or daughter will have 105 uncles for the rest of its life.

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