It was another dominating season for Clarion’s Julian Howsare.
Another year manhandling opponents led to more well-deserved postseason awards, starting off being named PSAC West Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season.
Clarion’s monster on defense has earned himself a chance at the most prestigious defensive award in NCAA Division II.
Howsare was named one of eight finalists for the Gene Upshaw award, for “Lineman of the Year.”
Being named a finalist is already an accomplishment, but what happens as a result of this award could provide a spark to Howsare’s possible and hopeful NFL career, with the winner of the award being guaranteed a spot in the East-West Shrine Game.
“It’s an honor just being a finalist for such a prestigious award,” Howsare said, “It would be an indescribable feeling if I were to win the award.”
The other finalists include Darius Allen of CSU-Pueblo, Devin Benton of Southwestern Oklahoma State, Caushaud Lyons of Tusculum, Joe Ray of Lenior-Rhyne, Chris Reed of Minnesota State-Mankato, Justin Zimmer of Ferris State, and one other PSAC player, Cory Tucker, of Slippery Rock.
Howsare recorded 86 tackles, 48 of them solo, 11 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, five pass break-ups, three blocked kicks and fumbles caused and two fumble recoveries this past season.
Clarion’s defensive star was a two-time PSAC West Defensive Player of the Week after Clarion’s 55-16 win at Millersville and after the final game of the year in a heart breaking 41-35 overtime loss against Kutztown.
Starting his junior season, Howsare began sending out his tape after noticing interest from NFL scouts.
This past season included numerous visits from various NFL scouts to practices and games.
“It was an amazing feeling to know I actually was on the radar for the NFL,” Howsare said, “It has always been a dream to play professionally, and I cannot be thankful enough that I have that opportunity.”
The Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles were the first teams to show interest in Howsare, showing up for his Junior Day that consists of measurements and paperwork for the Blesto Scouting agency.
As Howsare begins his pursuit of an NFL career, one aspect of his game that should stand out is his consistent performance on special teams.
Players in Howsare’s situation can make or break their chance at an NFL roster by performing well on special teams.
“Every scout I talk to said special teams for me is definitely key to make it to the next level,” Howsare explained, “That is how most guys get their start, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it.”
Even if he doesn’t win the award, Howsare will already be showcasing his talent to NFL scouts, starting at the National Bowl in Miami on Sunday, Dec. 7.
He will then continue training and preparing for combines and pro-days in the spring.
He hopes to get into Penn State’s Pro Day in March.
Whether he makes an NFL roster or not this year, Howsare stated it will depend on the situation to determine how long he will pursue the NFL.
“I will have to take it one year at a time and hope for the best,” he said.