Former Cooper football star Howard transfers from LSU to Gophers

Former Cooper star and LSU defensive end Jaxon Howard, the most highly touted high school football recruit from Minnesota a year ago, committed to the Gophers and coach P.J. Fleck on Friday.

Howard played five games as a true freshman at LSU last season, but he entered the transfer portal after spring practice last week.

A 6-4, 240-pound Minneapolis native, Howard was a four-star prospect and the No. 1 player in the state of Minnesota's 2023 class.

The Gophers received an official visit from Howard in high school and were finalists with LSU, Miami, Michigan. Howard's most productive game for LSU came against Wisconsin in the Jan. 1 ReliaQuest Bowl, when he had one tackle and a quarterback hurry against the Badgers.

Cooper linebacker Emmanuel Karmo, the state's No. 1 football recruit in the 2025 class, announced his commitment last Friday to play for Fleck. Karmo was recruiting Howard on social media to join him with the Gophers.