Dayton (Oh.) Chaminade-Juliene linebacker Darrien Howard almost couldn't believe what he was hearing on the other end of the phone.
After missing the entire fall camp while going through the NCAA Clearinghouse procedure, the 6-foot-2, 255-pounder finally got the news he was waiting for Thursday when he was fully cleared to begin his college career in Morgantown.
The NCAA had been through the process of reviewing and processing courses he took over the summer. Howard wasn't sure when he would receive word and dealt with some stressful days in the past couple weeks.
"It's a big relief. It feels so good to get this over with. The weight was really killing me. Now I actually get a chance to go down there and it's a great feeling," he said.
The hardest part for the freshman was waiting back home while the rest of his classmates participated throughout the course of fall camp. He has passed the time by working out and keeping in shape in preparation for his arrival into Touchdown City.
"I really wanted to be on that field. I talked to some of the players I was good friends with and they asked me when I was going to get here and I hated not telling my friends," he said.
Howard plans to leave from his Dayton home early Thursday morning and arrive in Morgantown later that day to being his college career.
"As soon as I'm able to get up there, I'm leaving. My whole goal was just to get up there and become a better football player and a better person in the future," he said. "It's about the life experience and I want to get up there and experience it."
"The only thing I have left to say is when do I get to strap on the pads," he added.