When you intercept Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, you count yourself fortunate. When you intercept him twice in 14 seconds, you go to the Pro Bowl and sign a contract making you the highest-paid cornerback in the league. We’re talking about Xavien Howard, and he’s one of the stars of the Miami Dolphins.
Howard grew up in Houston in the Fifth Ward district, a pretty tough neighborhood. However, he excelled on the football field for Wheatley High School, playing both cornerback as well as quarterback. Howard’s stint at Baylor University coincided with one of the most successful stretches the football program had seen. 40 wins, two conference titles and two bowl game victories put Baylor on the map and made Howard a consensus First Team All-Big-12 selection.
Going into the 2016 NFL draft, Howard was considered one of the top 10 cornerbacks in the draft. He was selected as the sixth cornerback taken, drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the no. 38 pick overall.
The 2017 season was a breakout season for Howard. He became the first Dolphins player in franchise history to have multiple interceptions in consecutive games. In the December game against New England, he recorded two interceptions against Tom Brady, a feat that had not been accomplished by any player for three years. He earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for that feat.
Last season (2018), Howard earned his first Pro Bowl nod as he tied with two other players for most interceptions in the league. He was also named to the second-team All-Pro list.
Xavien Howard remains active in the community in both Miami and Houston. He runs a youth football camp in Houston and participated in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Back in Miami, he is an annual participant in the AARP Foundation Million Meal Pack, which packs more than 1 million meals for elderly residents in South Florida in one day. In 2017, Howard surprised 100 underprivileged children in Miami with a trip to the Ashley Home Store to pick out new mattresses.
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