DL Willie Howard, Stanford. 1999

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By Andy Kuno/For the Chronicle

By Andy Kuno/For the Chronicle

Howard was considered the leader of the 1999 Cardinal defense that made Stanford’s first appearance in the Rose Bowl since 1972. First-Team ALL PAC-10 in 1999 after registering 10 sacks and 19 tackles for loss.  That same year he became the first Stanford player to win the Morris Trophy; so now all 10 schools in the league had a Morris Trophy winner. Drafted by Minnesota in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft, Howard suffered a devastating leg injury in his eighth game as a pro that effectively ended his playing career. He’s a high school coach in the Minneapolis area.