Miami Dolphins sign Tracy Howard, former Miramar, ‘Canes star

Tracy Howard intercepts the ball late in the fourth quarter during the University of Miami Hurricanes football game against the University of Florida in 2013 (Al Diaz / Miami Herald)

DAVIE — Tracy Howard was seeking out Malcolm Lewis in the Miami Dolphins locker room and, well, it was like old times.

“Best friends,” Howard said. “I wouldn’t have believed it. Crazy how things work out.”

The Dolphins signed Howard, a defensive back, on Thursday. Howard and Lewis, a receiver, played together at Miramar High School and the University of Miami. Now they’re both Dolphins.

In fact, Howard is the third former ‘Cane signed by Miami in recent past, along with receiver Rashawn Scott.

“I was very excited,” Howard said Thursday.  “It was just a blessing. I’ve been a free agent for most of the year. I was with the Jaguars for a while. Being from Miami, the Dolphins were my team.”

Howard played cornerback at Miami, where he posted 102 tackles, 10 passes defensed and 5 interceptions, but was been transitioned to safety by the Browns, his first NFL team, and he’ll be a safety in Miami.

Howard grew up as a fan of former Miami cornerback standouts Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison, both of whom also coached him on a 7-on-7 team called the South Florida Express. That program has won national championships.

Howard listed a lot of familiar names who he played with on those 7-on-7 squads.

“Teddy Bridgewater, Eli Rogers, Amari Cooper, Malcolm Lewis, Ricardo Lewis, Duke Johnson, Deon Bush, Andre Debose,” Howard said. “A lot of guys made the league.”

Howard started appeared in 15 games for the Browns in 2016, starting 3, recording 20 tackles. Howard also had 7 kickoff returns.

“I got my feet wet,” Howard said. “I was a rookie in the league but it was fun. I enjoyed it. I grew up  a lot. I matured a lot.”

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