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Dana Howard


Dana Cortez Howard

Inducted 2018

Date of Birth



East St. Louis


University of Illinois (1991-1994)


A tackling machine during his time at Illinois, Dana Howard became the first player in school history to earn a major national award when he received 1994 Butkus Award as the best linebacker in the nation. He becomes the 11th Fighting Illini player elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. A two-time First Team All-American, Howard earned unanimous honors as a senior in 1994. The two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year remains Illinois’ all-time leading tackler with 595 career stops, which was a Big Ten record at the end of his Fighting Illini tenure. A four-time All-Big Ten honoree, Howard earned First Team recognition in his last three seasons after making the Second Team as a freshman. The 1994 team captain and two-time team MVP, he led Illinois in tackles all four seasons of his career, and all four marks still rank among the school’s top 10 single-season tackling performances. The East St. Louis, Ill., native owns three of the Illini’s top four spots for single-game solo tackles, including the record of 20 which he set against Ohio State during his freshman season. Also ranked third in school history with eight career forced fumbles, Howard helped Illinois to three bowl berths, including a shutout win over East Carolina in the 1994 Liberty Bowl. A fifth round selection by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1995 NFL Draft, Howard had stints with the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears. He also played for the Amsterdam Admirals in NFL Europe.


Height 6'0"

Weight 235

Career Highlights

  • 1994 All-Conference
  • 1994 Butkus Award Winner
  • 1994 Unanimous All-America
  • 1993 All-Conference
  • 1993 Consensus All-America
  • 1992 All-Conference
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