Biography of Desmond Howard [Age, Height, Family, Wife, Children, Net Worth & Salary]

Desmond Howard is a former American National Football League player. Currently, he serves as a college football analyst for ESPN.

During his playing career, he was mostly known as a kick returner. Besides, he played in a wide receiver position too.

Howard played professional football for several teams like Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers. Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions.

He played college football for Michigan Wolverines and won the Heisman Trophy with them.

In addition, he is the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXXI and is also ranked as the ninth greatest kick returner in NFL history.

Desmond Howard

Moreover, Desmond is also a College Football Hall of Fame inductee. He had a successful career both as a player and broadcaster.

You may be well familiar with his face and voice during pre-game shows and commentaries on ESPN.

But most of his fans are not aware of his career as a footballer. Thus, we have packed a summary of his NFL career and personal life. Let’s begin then.

Quick Facts:

Full Name Desmond Kevin Howard
Birth Date May 15, 1970
Birth Place Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Nick Name Desmond Howard
Religion Christianity
Nationality American
Ethnicity African-American
Education St. Joseph High School
University of Michigan
Horoscope Taurus
Father’s Name JD Howard
Mother’s Name Hattie Howard
Siblings One brother
Brother Jermaine Howard
Age 52 Years Old
Height 5 feet 10 inches (177 cm)
Weight 85 kg (187 lbs)
Shoe Size Not available
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Dark brown
Relationship Married
Girlfriends No
Spouse Rebekah Howard (m. 1959)
Children Two Sons and One Daughter
Sons Desmond Howard Jr.
Dhamir Howard
Daughter Sydney Howard
Profession Football Analyst
NFL player (former)
Jersey Number #21( Michigan Wolverines), #81 (Jacksonville Jaguars), #81 (Green Bay Packers), #80 (Detroit Lions)
Teams Washington Football Team
Jacksonville Jaguars
Green Bay Packers
Detroit Lions
Net Worth $14 million
Salary $3 million
Broadcasting Affiliations ESPN
Fox Sports
Social Media TwitterInstagramFacebook
Merch Jersey, Football Cards, Autographs
Last Update June, 2022

Desmond Howard | Early Life, Family, and Education

Howard was born on May 15, 1970, in Cleveland, Ohio, to parents JD Howard (father) and Hattie Howard (mother).

His father, JD, was a formal semi-pro basketball player who has toured with Jolly Jokers. Later, he used to work as a tool and die plant in a local factory.

Likewise, Desmond’s mother, Hattie, used to work as an administrator in a school. Furthermore, the couple had two sons. Another one was Desmond’s brother, Jermaine.

Desmond went to St. Joseph High School in Cleveland. In his school days, he played for the school’s basketball and football teams.

Explicitly, Desmond played as a tailback in his senior season at the school. For his excellence in football, he received All-American and All-Ohio honors.

During his school career, Desmond recorded 18 touchdowns, 5,392 rushing yards, and ten defensive interceptions. In addition, he bagged varsity letters in all the sports he played, track, football, and basketball.

Desmond Howard | Collegiate Career

Desmond attended the University of Michigan. He was a star for the Michigan Wolverines football team and set twelve records at the team.

During the 1991 season, he bagged the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, and Walter Camp Award.

Desmond made it to the All-America first-team. In addition, the inaugural Michigan Football Legend was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

Desmond’s college career began with less playing time. The Michigan counselor helped him a lot in boosting his confidence.

Howard was a leading scorer with 138 points in the Big Ten Conference in 1991. For his brilliance, fans voted him as The Mount Rushmore of Michigan Football for the Big Ten Network in 2014.

The Heisman Trophy

Desmond had impressive stats in the 1991 season. This put him as a favored contender for the Heisman Trophy, which he eventually won the same year.

His “The Heisman pose” celebration of imitating the football player on the Heisman trophy is famous in the year. He did the celebration after scoring in a game against Ohio State.

College Stats

Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*1989 Michigan Big Ten WR 12 9 136 15.1 2 5 11 2.2 0 14 147 10.5 2
*1990 Michigan Big Ten WR 12 63 1025 16.3 11 5 58 11.6 0 68 1083 15.9 11
*1991 Michigan Big Ten WR 12 62 985 15.9 19 13 180 13.8 2 75 1165 15.5 21
Career Michigan 134 2146 16.0 32 23 249 10.8 2 157 2395 15.3 34

Desmond Howard | Professional Career

The then Super Bowl XXVII champions Washington Redskins poached Howard in the 1992 NFL Draft. He was skilled primarily as a kickoff returner rather than a receiver.

“The return specialist” name came to him as he recorded 92 receptions in his first four seasons with the Redskins.

In the 1995 NFL expansion draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars picked him. Howard played one season with them. During that, he had 26 receptions, one touchdown, and ten kick returns.

Super Bowl with Green Bay Packers

Later, in 1996, Desmond joined the Green Bay Packers. He had 58 punt returns with them, an NFL record of 875 punt return yards, 15.1 punt return average, and 460 kickoff return yards.

In 1996, the Packers reached the Super Bowl XXXI defeating the San Francisco 49ers. They won the match 35-21 against the New England Patriots.

Howards made a 99-yard kickoff return resulting in a Packers touchdown in the Super Bowl.

Desmond Howard (right)

He achieved the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award. Notably, he is the only special teams player in NFL history to win the prize.

The Oakland Raiders signed him as a free agent in 1998. He had 61 kickoff returns there before rejoining the Packers in 1999.

However, he suffered injuries and poor performances. Thus, the Packers were released in the middle of the 1999 season.

The Detroit Lions

Later, the Lions signed him. He debuted for them with a special teams touchdown. Also, Desmond played as the kick returner at Pro Bowl in 2001.

That was his first and only appearance in the competition. After completing the 2002 season, Howard retired from football.

Desmond Howard | Broadcasting career

It has been almost two decades since Desmond last played football. After leaving the profession as an NFL player, Howard rested for a while.

Then he joined ESPN, where he currently works. Since 2005, he has been traveling along with Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit to the match sites. There they cover the pre-game show ESPN College Gameday.

Howard mostly appears as an in-game studio figure. You can hear his voice in commentaries when you tune to the Detroit Lions Television Network during Detroit Lions’ pre-season games.

Moreover, he has also called games for the NFL on Fox Sports. Desmond served there for one season, sharing the studio with former ESPN colleague Carter Blackburn.

Currently, Desmond is at ESPN, where he is an analyst for college football.

He has got prominent roles in College GameDay College Football Live. He evaluates the NCAA games and other college-level games with his expertise.

Desmond Howard | Video games

Howard has been featured in EA Sport’s NCAA Football video game series. He was the cover athlete for the series’ latest installment in NCAA Football 06.

The college footballers who went to the NFL the previous year used to be featured on the cover.

The renowned Desmond’s celebration “The Heisman pose” was the illustration for the game’s new feature, “Race for the Heisman.” The picture is an icon for all those who are interested in college football games.

Desmond Howard | Achievements and Honors

Howard was a brilliant player in his college career. The 1991 Heisman Trophy winner has bagged honorable awards like Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, and Chicago Tribune Silver Football award in the 1991 season.

Sporting News honored him with the College Football Player of the Year 1991. The last ever UPI College Football Player of the Year title is held by him.

The Super Bowl XXXI Most Valuable Player had received Big Ten’s Athlete of the Year 1991 award.

Moreover, the College Football Hall of Fame inductee has had his jersey no. 21 retired by the Michigan University’s football team.

Besides, Howard had also been inducted into the National Football College Football Hall of Fame in 2010 and the University of Michigan Hall of Honor in 2008.

Likewise, he had also been inducted to the State of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.

Who is Desmond Howard’s wife? Wedding and Children

Howard married his longtime girlfriend, Rebekah. She is an authorized attorney. Besides, she also serves as an executive in event management and marketing.

Reports suggest the couple got married in a private ceremony. The couple resides happily in their house in Miami, Florida.

Notably, the couple has had three children, two sons, and a daughter until now. Desmond Jr and Dhamir are their sons, and Sydney is their daughter.

Desmond spends adequate time with his wife and children. No controversies or tensions have been reported about the Howard family until today.

Desmond seems to have a happy married life as no extra affairs have been rumored involving him or his wife.

Desmond Howard | Net Worth and Salary

Howard has a wonderful college football career and a decade-long professional football career in NFL.

Equally, he has a relatively successful career in broadcasting and currently serves at ESPN.

Henceforth, it can be speculated that the man has accumulated a significant sum of fortune throughout his life.


Some sources report that Howard has earned a total of $190 million in his football career.

Well, the figure cannot be suspected regarding his success during those days. Desmond earns $3 million as a salary.

How old is Desmond Howard? Age, Height, and Body Measurements

The football analyst is 52 years old as of 2022. He stands at the height of 5 feet and 10 inches (177 cm).

Similarly, he weighs around 85 kilograms (187 lbs). Howard was born in Cleveland, United States.

He schooled and spent all of his career in the US. Consequently, he holds an American passport.

Social Media Presence:

Howard uses Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as his social media handles. He is pretty much active on these platforms and frequently reaches out to his fans and admirers.

One can have a glimpse of the latest college and professional football news through his social media posts.

Twitter: 377,500 Followers

Facebook: 33,707 Followers

Instagram: 42,000 Followers

Some FAQs:

Who made the Heisman pose famous?

Desman Howard imitated the posture of the man in the Heisman Trophy during his celebration after scoring against Ohio State University in 1991. The photo went viral.

It was a subject of discussion in almost every sports media for weeks. Besides, some critics compared the act to Muhammad Ali’s way of teasing opponents.

Where does Desmond Howard live now?

Desmond Howard resides with his wife and children in his house in Miami, Florida. He works at ESPN as a college football analyst.

Is Desmond Howard a vegetarian?

In an interview, Desmond has stated that he takes egg whites as his post-workout meal but does not eat any meat. Thus, whether you call him, a vegetarian or not depends upon you.

What was Desmond Howard’s 40 yard dash time?

Desmond Howard’s 40 yard dash time was 4.35 seconds.

How much is a Desmond Howard rookie card worth?

Desmond Howard’s rookie card price ranges from $0.05-$24.95.

Is Desmond Howard available for autograph signing?

Yes, Desmond Howard is available for autograph signing both publicly and privately. Howard has signed at numerous shows, including the National Convention.

What did Desmond Howard say about Devonta Smith?

Desmond Howard says that Devonta Smith is the best wide receiver of the 2021 NFL draft.

Who won the 1991 Heisman Trophy?

Desmond Howard won the 1991 Heisman Trophy.

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