Desmond Howard joined ESPN in 2005 as a college football analyst. The 1991 Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl XXXI MVP joined the network a few years after his remarkable 11 seasons in the NFL. He has been an analyst on the eight-time Emmy-Award winning College GameDay, the network’s signature Saturday morning show originating from the site of one of the day’s best games, since 2005 and also calls ESPN’s mid-week games.
Howard’s broadcast career began in 2003 at Fox Sports, for which he was a contributor to Best Damn Sports Show Period. In 2004, he was a correspondent on ESPN2’s Cold Pizza during the show’s Super Bowl coverage. Howard also was a weekly contributor to Fox Sports Radio for the 2005-06 NFL season. During the 2007-08 college football season, he could be heard on Miami’s 790 The Ticket, analyzing the week’s top matchups on the Jorge Sedano Show.
At Michigan from 1988-1991, Howard was the first receiver in Big Ten history to lead the conference in scoring as he set or tied five NCAA records and 12 single-season Michigan records. In 1991, the All-American won the Heisman by the second largest margin of victory in the trophy’s history (85 percent of the vote). He was also awarded the Walter Camp Trophy and the Maxwell Award that year, finishing with 950 receiving yards and 19 touchdown passes. His 138 points (23 touchdowns overall) that season made him the first wide receiver to lead the Big Ten in scoring. By the end of his college career, Howard had scored 37 touchdowns.
The Washington Redskins selected Howard fourth overall in the 1992 NFL Draft. Howard spent three years with Washington, then moved on to the Jacksonville Jaguars – with whom he scored the first game-winning touchdown in team history. Howards pro career included stops at Green Bay, Oakland and Detroit. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2000 while playing with the Lions.
Howard had 92 receptions as a wide receiver in his first four years. His 870 punt return yards in a single season remain a NFL record. With a memorable postseason kickoff return of 99-yards in the 1997 Super Bowl, he became the first and only player on special teams to be named Super Bowl MVP. Also in 1996, Howard led the NFL in punt returns, punt return average and punt returns for touchdowns, and he tacked on 460 kickoff return yards and 95 receiving yards on 13 catches.
In 2011, Howard was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted to the Gator Bowl Hall of Fame, the University of Michigan Hall Of Honor, the State of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.
Howard, who graduated from Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, now resides in Miami.