The Alabama State tackle played quarterback in high school and has played tackle for a few years

Texans get their tackle at 23 selecting Tytus Howard

Texans get their tackle at 23 selecting Tytus Howard
Credit to Alabama State Football Twitter

The draft board started to set up perfect for the Texans. With just one tackle going in the top 20 picks Washington State's Andre Dillard, Oklahoma's Cody Ford, and Florida's Jawaan Taylor all remained on the board. Three of most draft experts top four tackles. Moments later the Eagles had traded up and were on the clock.

There went Dillard. One pick before the Texans were set to select. Then they were on the clock. Now they trusted their board.

Roger Goodell walked to the podium and announced the Texans had selected Alabama State tackle Tytus Howard.

"It's just an unbelievable feeling right now," Howard said after he was picked. "I'm just blessed to be a part of the Houston Texans."

Howard said he had a good feeling about being a member of the Texans when he had his visit with the team.

"They decided to draft me and I promise you they didn't make a mistake. I'm going to give them everything I have."

Texans general manager Brian Gaine knows there's a fit for his new lineman.

"We see Tytus Howard as an offensive lineman," he said. "We'll start the best five, however it works out. He'll have a chance to compete for a starting job, come in and earn what he gets, but the fact of the matter is, is Tytus has been a starting-caliber player at right tackle and left tackle."

Gaine mentioned Howard "checked all the boxes" and said he is the type of player that matches their physical as well as intagible profile.

As for where he played, Gaine doesn't mind Howard's track record against non-Power 5 schools.

"I know the competition in terms of comparably speaking to a power-five conference, he's not coming from a power-five conference, but I'm not concerned about that at all."

Howard was a high school quarterback. He then started a transition to tight end before ultimately ending up as the right tackle for Alabama State. He credits his coaches and the strength staff for staying on him. He also said his fiance was instrumental in getting him to eat enough.

"My favorite would be her chicken spaghetti," Howard said with a chuckle. "I would eat that back to back nights. I would eat that whole pan."

Howard said his time as a quarterback helps him at the tackle spot.

"I know how being sacked feels," he said. "So I try my best not to give up any sacks so I try to play as long as I can to keep guys from hitting the quarterback."

Speaking of keeping the quarterback clean, Howard knows all about how important Deshaun Watson is to the Texans.

Howard said he thinks Watson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and he said his athleticism will help him work longer to keep Watson clean.

As for Howard, he has a clear mentality to take to the NFL.

"There was a saying that one of my offensive line coaches used to say, his mentality is you put him in a cage with a gorilla, you better pray for the gorilla, not him because he's going to be all right. That's just how I feel. You just put me in a cage with anybody and I feel like I'm going to come out. That's my mentality going in."

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Celtics defeat Mavericks, 106-88. Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images.

Jayson Tatum put his hands behind his head, with TD Garden fans standing on their feet cheering around him, and took it all in.

Walking to the bench, he wrapped both arms around Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla.

The journey was complete.

The Boston Celtics again stand alone among NBA champions.

Tatum had 31 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, and the Celtics topped the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 on Monday night to win the franchise’s 18th championship, breaking a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most in league history.

Boston earned its latest title on the 16th anniversary of hoisting its last Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2008. It marks the 13th championship won this century by one of the city’s Big 4 professional sports franchises.

“It means the world," Tatum said on stage after the team received the trophy from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. "It’s been a long time. And damn I’m grateful.”

Jaylen Brown added 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and was voted the NBA Finals MVP.

“I share this with my brothers and my partner in crime Jayson Tatum," Brown said after the 107th career playoff game he and Tatum have played together — the most for any duo before winning a title.

Jrue Holiday finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Center Kristaps Porzingis also provided an emotional lift, returning from a two-game absence because of a dislocated tendon in his left ankle to chip in five points in 17 minutes.

They helped the Celtics cap a postseason that saw them go 16-3 and finish with an 80-21 overall record. That .792 winning percentage ranks second in team history behind only the Celtics’ 1985-86 championship team that finished 82-18 (.820).

Mazzulla, in his second season, at age 35 also became the youngest coach since Bill Russell in 1969 to lead a team to a championship.

“You have very few chances in life to be great,” Mazzulla said.

Luka Doncic finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds for Dallas, which failed to extend the series after avoiding a sweep with a 38-point win in Game 4. The Mavericks had been 3-0 in Game 5s this postseason, with Doncic scoring at least 31 points in each of them. He said the chest, right knee and left ankle injuries he played through during the finals weren't an excuse for Dallas struggling throughout the series.

“It doesn’t matter if I was hurt, how much was I hurt. I was out there,” he said. “I tried to play, but I didn’t do enough.”

Kyrie Irving finished with just 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting and has lost 13 of the last 14 meetings against the Celtics team he left in the summer of 2019 to join the Brooklyn Nets.

Irving thinks better things are ahead for the Mavs.

“I see an opportunity for us to really build our future in a positive manner, where this is almost like a regular thing for us and we’re competing for championships,” he said.

NBA teams are now 0-157 in postseason series after falling into a 3-0 deficit.

Mavs coach Jason Kidd believes Doncic and his team will grow from this NBA Finals experience.

“I think the first step is just to be in it. I think that’s a big thing,” he said. “Yes, we lost 4-1, but I thought the group fought against the Celtics and just, unfortunately, we just couldn’t make shots when we had to, or we turned the ball over and they took full advantage of that.”

Boston never trailed and led by as many as 26, feeding off the energy of the Garden crowd.

Dallas was within 16-15 early before the Celtics closed the first quarter on a 12-3 run that included eight combined points by Tatum and Brown.

The Celtics did it again in the second quarter when the Mavericks trimmed what had been a 15-point deficit to nine. Boston ended the period with a 19-7 spurt that was capped by a a half-court buzzer beater by Payton Pritchard – his second such shot of the series – to give Boston a 67-46 halftime lead.

Over the last two minutes of the first and second quarters, the Celtics outscored the Mavericks 22-4.

The Celtics never looked back.

Russell’s widow, Jeannine Russell, and his daughter Karen Russell were in TD Garden to salute the newest generation of Celtics champions.

They watched current Celtics stars Tatum and Brown earn their first rings. It was the trade that sent 2008 champions Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn in 2013 that netted Boston the draft picks it eventually used to select Brown and Tatum third overall in back-to-back drafts in 2016 and 2017.

The All-Stars came into their own this season, leading a Celtics team that was built around taking and making a high number of 3-pointers, and a defense that rated as the league’s best during the regular season.

The duo made it to at least the Eastern Conference finals as teammates four previous times.

They finally reached the finish line in their fifth deep playoff run together.

After both struggling at times offensively in the series, Tatum and Brown hit a groove in Game 5, combining for 31 points and 11 assists in the first half.

It helped bring out all the attributes that made Boston the NBA’s most formidable team this postseason – spreading teams out, sharing the ball, and causing havoc on defense. And even chipping a tooth, like Derrick White did after he was landed on by Dereck Lively II.

“I'll lose all my teeth for a championship,” White said.

And it put a championship bow on a dizzying stretch for the Celtics, that saw them lose in the finals to the Golden State Warriors in 2022 and then fail to return last season after a Game 7 home loss to the Miami Heat in the conference finals.

Tatum vowed that night to erase the sting of those disappointments.

Standing in a sea of confetti Monday night he was reminded by his 6-year-old son, Deuce, of what he'd accomplished.

“He told me that I was the best in the world,” Tatum said. “I said, ‘You’re damn right I am.’”

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