Oregon State secures commitment from one of highest-rated prospects in program history
It’s Oregon State for 4-star defensive lineman Kelze Howard.
The Las Vegas (Nev.) Spring Valley defender announced his college commitment live on CBS Sports HQ on Friday, picking the Beavers over a list of finalists that also included Arizona, Utah, USC, and Oregon. If he keeps with that commitment and signs with the program, he’d be the eighth-highest rated commit for Oregon State in the 247Sports era.
— 247Sports (@247Sports) July 1, 2022
Howard rates as a 4-star prospect in the industry-generated 247 Composite. He’s the 33rd-ranked defensive lineman, the No. 3 player in the state of Nevada, and the 227th-ranked prospect overall in the Class of 2023. Howard has the measurables—6-foot-5, 260 pounds, 80-inch wingspan—to blossom into a premier defender.
A multi-sport athlete for Spring Valley, Howard also participates in track and basketball and is one of the state’s top wrestlers. As a junior last fall, Howard put up 38 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles in 10 games.
The commitment is huge for coach Jonathan Smith and his staff. Quietly, Smith has restored the Beavers to respectability. Earning a commitment from a player of Howard’s stature, and doing so over the kinds of programs the Beavers beat out, underscores the kind of job Smith has done to this point in his tenure. Oregon State didn’t have a hometown pull or sentimentality to lean on. It sold itself as the best option for an elite blue-chip prospect.
Howard’s pledge gives the Beavers their eighth known commit for the 2023 class. You can view his highlight tape below, via Hudl: