Drew Howell, a standout student-athlete these past three years for the Oregon Ducks, will get an added bonus this next season with the addition of a family member in close proximity to his home in Eugene.
His brother, Bobby Howell, a recent graduate of Tehachapi High School, has signed on to play at Portland State University this upcoming fall, a campus that is just two hours up the road from his older brother.
"I had a chance to go the junior college route, but having Drew close by really helped with the decision to come to Oregon," Bobby Howell said. "I also developed a good relationship with the Portland State coaching staff and that along with having a family connection up there made it perfect."
With all of the pressure that comes with being a part of Oregon football, a perennial NCAA powerhouse, having a brother nearby will be a welcomed change this year for Drew.
"We plan on seeing each other at least once or twice a month. During the football season, we will probably see each other quite a bit," said Drew Howell. "When you have family close it means a lot. It makes being away from home a little easier."
Howell's success with Oregon has been nothing short of extraordinary from 2010 to 2012, playing in the national championship as a freshman and winning the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl in his sophomore and junior campaigns. It has led to a combined three-season record of 36-4, including a no.2 ranking in the Associated Press and USA Today national polls this last year.
The team success has parlayed into individual accolades for Drew, who was named to the Phil Steele College Football Preview 2013 Preseason All-American team as a long snapper.
"It was great to get the pre-season honor and we are excited for the year coming up," said Drew Howell. "When I'm here on campus and playing in the games it seems normal; but when I go home you realize it is a big deal and it is an honor to be a part of a program like Oregon."
Away from the gridiron, Drew has made the dean's list on three separate occasions in his pursuit of a major in Psychology. He is set to earn his bachelor's degree this upcoming spring and if he does not declare for the NFL draft after the season, he will continue his education in the sports psychology master's program.
Entering his first year at PSU, Bobby plans to pursue a major in business with a concentration in either marketing or management. Bobby recently graduated from THS this past June with a 3.2 GPA.
On the field, Bobby could see time at quarterback or special teams during his first year if he is not redshirted to develop his skills and extend his collegiate eligibility.
"I'm going to go up there and do whatever they tell me to do. If it is special teams I am willing to do that," Bobby said. "There is a chance they could redshirt me but we won't know that until the season starts."
The Howell's have two brothers in the local area. Nick Howell, who was an all-league defensive back for Tehachapi, graduated with Drew from THS in 2010 and is a real estate agent in Bakersfield. Noah Howell is currently in the eighth grade and is participating for the Tehachapi Tomahawk football program. They also have two sisters, Jami and Megan. Parents are Mick and Kathryn.