Sleeper: Pitt HB LaRod Stephens-Howling 3:00 PM Fri, Apr 17, 2009 | Permalink Rick Gosselin E-mail News tips LaRod Stephens-Howling came out of Johnstown, Pa., as the city's all-time leading rusher with 4,597 yards. Then he led Pitt in rushing as a true freshman, slapping 101 yards on Syracuse and 98 more on Nebraska in games. He also returned his first career kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown against Ohio. Stephens-Howling was again Pitt's leading rusher as a sophomore in 2006, collecting 893 yards, including a 221-yard day at Syracuse. He scored nine touchdowns and caught 19 passes. But LeSean McCoy showed up on campus in 2007, taking over the starting halfback spot and dooming Stephens-Howling to a utility role for the rest of his college career. But it's a role he embraced. Howling-Stephens posted his final 100-yard rushing day against Cincinnati and the Big East's best run defense in 2007 and averaged 21.4 yards as Pitt's primary kickoff return man in 2008. He also made nine tackles on special teams last season. He leaves Pitt with 1,959 career rushing yards, 17 touchdowns, 52 receptions and a 22.8-yard kick return average. Howling-Stephens (5-7, 180) is the type of player who goes late in a draft or signs as a free agent and becomes a core special teams player in the NFL.