The Howard football team will begin the season with a pair of significant additions on offense, but they aren’t at high-profile positions such as quarterback or wide receiver. The newcomers, both of whom left imprints on the local football scene, don’t play a position at all, at least not these days.
Cato June is the Bison’s first-year running backs coach and director of football operations; he previously had been head coach at Anacostia High, his alma mater, and then C.H. Flowers. June played seven years at linebacker in the NFL, winning Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts after the 2006 season.
The following year, offensive lineman Brandon Torrey, a former Howard standout, was part of the Super Bowl XLII-winning New York Giants.
Torrey officially joined Bison Coach Gary Harrell’s staff as offensive line coach.
“It worked out pretty well for me,” said Harrell, who also starred for the Bison as a player, helping Howard win the black national championship in 1993.
Torrey was a volunteer coach last year. He initially came back to campus to fulfill a pledge to his mother to earn his diploma. He left 18 credits short of a degree in sociology in 2006 to pursue a professional football career that included stops with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals in addition to the Giants. His last NFL team was the Oakland Raiders in 2009.
After Torrey graduated from Howard in 2015, a full-time position on Harrell’s staff came open. The job is Torrey’s first as a coach, and he indicated it’s a line of work he can envision for the long term.
“It’s definitely enjoyable,” Torrey said. “The only thing that hasn’t been smooth for me is realizing I can’t still get out there and play. That’s the only problem I’ve had so far. Somebody told me a long time ago half the battle of coaching was getting the kids to listen. Because of my experience, coming from exactly where they are, I haven’t had trouble with them listening.”