MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Family is everything to West Virginia’s Skyler Howard. From an early age, his mother, Diedre Kelley, raised him to value family above all else.
It turns out Skyler isn’t the only member of the Howard family with a bright football future. His two younger brothers, Devyn and Ethan, also share his dedication and passion for the game.
“Unfortunately, I don’t get to spend a lot of time with them as much as I would like because of being up here (Morgantown) all the time and most of the summer. But when I’m home (Texas), I’m always trying to do what they wanna do whether it’s riding go karts or something,” said Howard. “They always wanna go practice football or go lift weights or something and so I really just try to be there for them.”
Both Devyn and Ethan play the quarterback position, just like their older brother. Devyn has just begun his high school career at Brewer High School in Forth Worth, Texas, where Skyler made a name for himself on the football field before graduating early to begin his collegiate career.
“You know, I didn’t have an older brother so I don’t really know what it’s like but I can imagine just trying to be a best friend to them and be there when they need it,” said Howard. “And it’s cool to see them growing up because the conversations you have with them change and they start to understand things. Like, he’s (Devyn) going through some things that I went through in my football career and he’s just a freshman in high school. Just seeing him grow up is really cool.”
Skyler’s road to becoming a West Virginia Mountaineer was a long one. From being a walk-on at Stephen F. Austin, to departing for Riverside Community College in California when his original plans didn’t quite work out, it took a while for him to find the perfect place for success.
According to Skyler, he wants nothing more than to see his brothers succeed at a high level, just like he’s doing.
“Yeah, no doubt they wanna play college ball,” said Howard. “They talk about it all the time and kinda ask me questions about what they need to do. They want it to happen just as bad as I wanted it to happen.”
As the older brother, Skyler is usually the one playing the motivator role. But even with both of his brothers being over 1,000 miles away, he says it’s a motivation just knowing how much they look up to him and his abilities.
“I feel like I motivate them and they motivate me just as much as I motivate them,” he said. “I learn from them just as much as they learn from me. And just seeing it in hindsight and maybe seeing something that they’re going through that relates to my life, it’s really cool.”
Currently a junior, Howard has started all of West Virginia’s games this season. Through those 11 games, Howard has thrown for over 2,300 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Mountaineers hold a 7-4 (4-4 in Big 12) record with one regular-season game (at Kansas St.) remaining.