Dublin Jerome High School senior Jared Howard was flattered to be recruited to play golf by dozens of college coaches and he took the time to consider each of his options.

Dublin Jerome High School senior Jared Howard was flattered to be recruited to play golf by dozens of college coaches and he took the time to consider each of his options.

But after making unofficial visits to Cincinnati, Florida Southern, Miami University, Michigan State and Xavier before the start of his senior season, he accepted a scholarship offer from Cincinnati.

Howard made a verbal commitment to Bearcats coach Doug Martin in August and signed a national letter of intent in November.

"I looked at a lot of great schools and programs, but I picked Cincinnati because I believe that coach Martin can help me take my game to the next level," Howard said. "He was the No. 1 amateur player (in 1989) and he has (eight years) experience playing on the PGA Tour, so he's been there before and knows what it takes to get that good."

In his first year as coach at Cincinnati during the 2009-10 season, Martin led the Bearcats to an eighth-place finish (890) in the Big East Conference Championships, behind champion Georgetown (873).

Former Jerome coach Jim Hull, who coached Howard during his freshman and sophomore seasons, expects Howard to make a positive impact at Cincinnati.

Howard earned four varsity letters at Jerome and competed in the Division I state tournament the past three seasons.

As a freshman, Howard played in several varsity tournaments and, although he didn't compete on Jerome's state championship team in 2007, he was one of eight Celtics to receive a championship ring that season.

Howard capped his sophomore season by finishing as the No. 4 golfer on Jerome's state runner-up squad that shot a 655 at state to finish two strokes behind champion Cincinnati St. Xavier (653).

He helped lead the Celtics to an eighth-place finish at state as a junior and helped guide Jerome to a third-place state finish this past fall.

"Even though Jared didn't play in the state tournament as a freshman, he was a part of that team and he learned what being a part of a championship team is all about," Hull said. "Jared looked up to the older guys on that team who went on to play college golf, and he learned that it takes a lot of hard work to take your game to that level, and he put in that hard work year after year to follow in their footsteps.

"Jared's in a great position now, because he's experienced a state championship, but he's hungry to be a part of more team championships in the future. He's motivated to keep getting better and he's goal-oriented."

Howard has lofty goals for himself and Cincinnati over the next four years.

"Personally, I want to make the team as a freshman and earn as many accolades as I can before I graduate," he said. "As far as team goals, I want to win the Big East all four years and make it to the national championships.

"I'm going to major in business. Playing professional golf is my dream career, but I plan on working in business if that doesn't work out for me."