During his first season with Virginia in 2012 Howard was able to work his way into the Cavalier lineup and deliver some key hits. Before starting his collegiate career at Virginia, Howard was a standout prospect at St. John’s High School in Olney, Maryland. He was twice named as First Team All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and Perfect Game rated him the number one overall prospect out of Maryland n 2011. Baseball America also rated him the number 90 prospect in the United States. He was a speedster on the base paths in his prep career, recording 20 stolen bases in his senior year.