I Follow: Desmond Howard

College football analyst Desmond Howard welcomes your comments via Twitter.

Editor’s Note: I Follow is all about ESPN employees on Twitter: what they Tweet, whom they follow and how you can interact socially with anyone and everyone.

Twitter Handle: @DesmondHoward
Followers: *91,214
Following: *158
*(As of 12/07/11)

ESPN college football analyst and College GameDay Built by the Home Depot regular Desmond Howard is, as they say, “on the Twitter.”

With 90,000-plus followers for his feed, Howard tweets a mixture of observations and opinions, and uses the medium to solicit feedback.

In his Twitter profile, the 1991 Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl MVP states: “Where am I NOT is the ?”

True to form, Howard will be in Orlando, Fla., for the Home Depot College Football Awards Thursday, Dec. 8, and then in NYC Saturday, Dec. 10, for the Heisman Trophy Presentation presented by Nissan (8 p.m. ET on ESPN).

Known for his eye for style (see this College GameDay spot “Man Satchel”) and his buttoned-up business approach to his job (he carries a metal briefcase to and from the set), Desmond is certainly busy in his post-playing days life.

Good luck trying to keep up with him.

FR: Why and when did you join Twitter?
DH: I first joined Twitter a couple of years ago as part of the @CollegeGameDay handle. I would send tweets from that account/handle.

FR: What do you use it for?
DH: First and foremost, I use it to stay connected to fans, and sometimes, to get information on different topics. I like to interact with the fans. I enjoy knowing how they feel about games and issues.

FR: How has Twitter affected your job if at all? What have you learned?
DH: Twitter has allowed me the opportunity to stay better connected to the public. Sometimes, I’ll throw a topic out there that I’m prepping to speak about on College GameDay or College Football Live to get differing viewpoints from followers. Outside the occasional and not-helpful “You suck, Desmond!,” I usually get some interesting, well-reasoned feedback. It can definitely be a useful tool and I enjoy engaging with football fans this way.

FR: Who follows you that you were surprised to see follow you?
DH: I was surprised to see LeBron James follows me, even though he’s family because we’re from the same area in Ohio.

FR: Who are your top three people/feeds to follow?
DH: @danrafaelespn ESPN.com boxing writer Dan Rafael (because I love boxing), @notthefakeSVP – ESPN SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt and @1livestew – Ryan Stewart, popular Atlanta radio host for 2 Live Stews and a frequent guest on ESPN’s First Take.

FR: I noticed you tweeted out that you were filling out your Heisman ballot. What kind of response did you get? What did it tell you about the Heisman race?
DH: I got a ton of responses to my tweet on the final day of voting for the Heisman when I asked my followers who they would vote for first, second and third place. I did this right before I submitted my ballot on-line. The responses started rolling in right away. I walked away from Twitter for about an hour and came back to close to 1,000 replies. In fact, I think people are still replying even though the finalists were announced Monday evening on SportsCenter! This shows me college football fans are still passionate about the Heisman race and the prominence of the trophy.

FR: In 140 characters or less, tell us what fans should look for this bowl season which begins Dec. 17 on ESPN networks:
DH: “The games are set & the teams are getting ready. I like the match-ups for the BCS bowls and believe we are in for a helluva ride!”

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