MANHATTAN, Kan. (247Sports.com) – Just weeks after setting the school’s all-time passing touchdown record, tying a season record in the process, 247Sports confirms that senior quarterback Will Howard has made the first step towards a new home by entering his name into the transfer portal. With one year of eligibility remaining, the veteran has effectively played his last game as a Wildcat.
One of only three signal callers to have ever guided the program to a Big 12 championship, Howard departs Manhattan with a heavy statistical resume. Not only does Howard own top touchdown honors by any quarterback but also claims a spot in K-State’s all-time top five for career completions and passing yards among several other historical criteria.
Among the earliest and highest-rated commitments that Chris Klieman ever obtained during his first, full recruiting cycle as head coach of the Wildcats, Howard chose a path west from east Philadelphia suburbs, where he was once named Maxwell Football Club Pennsylvania Player of the Year at Downingtown West High School. Howard chose a future in the Little Apple over the likes of Cincinnati, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota and Rutgers, and was rated the No. 13 pro-style quarterback in his class. A key win for Collin Klein’s trajectory as offensive coordinator. For a career that spanned 34 games with 27 starts, Howard managed to navigate K-State’s offense through everything from Covid to the Sugar Bowl to develop from a promising backup to one of the leading faces of the program.
“It’s hard to hard to put it into words, honestly. This place has meant the world to me,” Howard told reporters after Saturday’s loss to Iowa State to spoil Senior Night and the regular season finale. “All the relationships that I’ve had, that I’ve built. The people that I’ve come across, all the coaches, all the players like, genuinely I love this place and I’ll cherish it for the rest of my life. This place turned me into a man.”
With a bowl game still on the docket for the 2023 season, Howard’s exit officially hands the reigns over to true freshman Avery Johnson for the year’s final game and beyond.
As for the status of Howard’s younger brother, Ryan Howard, an offensive tackle who had been a pledge for the Wildcats’ 2024 class since late January, rumblings seem to point to that commitment being up in the air until the future of his elder sibling is finalized. GoPowercat will continue to monitor that situation closely.
The upcoming offseason features two transfer windows for players and programs to conduct transfer recruitments:
- Winter Window: 45 days beginning on December 4, 2023
- Spring Window: 45 days beginning on April 16, 2024
Last year alone, over 2,700 players entered their name into the transfer portal including 15 one-time Wildcats. Since 2019, K-State has seen a total of 62 transfers exit Manhattan and brought in 28 to join the roster, most notably all-conference standouts like Briley Moore, Russ Yeast and Julius Brents.
The NCAA introduced the transfer portal on Oct. 15, 2018, providing athletes a path to explore their options. Players do not need to ask permission from their coaching staff in order to transfer but merely request that compliance enter their name. A process that typically takes 24-48 hours before a player officially appears in the national database, schools are then free to contact a player without restriction.
While a player entering the transfer portal indicates an intent to explore other options, it does not necessarily mean they will. Each entry is free to withdraw his name at any time. However, schools are under no obligation to keep said player on scholarship once they enter the portal.
All players who enter the transfer portal for the first time will be immediately eligible at their new school so long as they meet a NCAA-mandated entry deadline.