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Burnet Bulldog is bowl MVP, commits to Sam Houston State

Burnet's Braeden Howell is Blue-Grey defensive MVP

Burnet senior defensive end Braeden Howell was all smiles after being named the defensive most valuable player of the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl on Dec 14. Congratulating him are Burnet head coach Jerod Rye (left), Rye's son Cade, and Rye's wife, Stephanie. Courtesy photo

Burnet High School senior defensive end Braeden Howell is celebrating a pretty impressive week as he heads into the Christmas break.

On Monday, Dec. 14, he was named the defensive most valuable player at the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl in Arlington, where he had four sacks and nine tackles while only playing in a third of the contest. The game showcases some of the best high school players from across the country.

“When he was in, he was the most impactful defensive end every time,” said Howell’s football coach Jerod Rye.

The Bulldog, who was one of six defensive ends competing in the Blue-Grey game, was invited to play in the contest in September based on his performance in a summer combine. 

On the day after the game, Howell committed to play football for Sam Houston State University, where he’ll also seek a degree in construction.

“He put a lot of thought into his (collegiate) decision,” Rye added. “Sam Houston was a great choice.”

Howell also had scholarship offers from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, East Texas Baptist University, Hardin-Simmons University, and Lamar University.

Rye isn’t surprised at Howell’s success. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to go to online learning last spring, the Howell family bought weights to create a home gym so Braeden could put in the time to stay in shape. During the summer, he attended camps and combines to showcase his talents on the advice of his coaches.

“Braeden is the epitome of a program athlete,” Rye said. “Ask him to do something, and he does it. It’s who Braeden is. If he decides he wants to do something and be great at it, he’ll take the same approach. If we had everybody do that, I don’t know that we’d lose another game. I can’t speak highly enough about Braeden and the all-around person he is.”