Former King Philip High standout Brandon Howard wore the name of Lingzi Lui, the Boston University student who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombing, on the back of his jersey for the University of Massachusetts football team in their annual spring game Saturday in Amherst.
The UMass coaching staff selected four players to wear the names of the victims on their jersey. Dorcester native Stanley Andre, a defensive lineman, wore the name of Martin Richard, who was from his hometown, while Kylsmann Andre had Krystie Campbell's name on his jersey.
Randall Jette, a defensive back from Martha's Vineyard, had MIT police officer Sean Collier on his back and senior tight-end Rob Blanchflower had "#Boston Strong."
Boston Marathoner runners were invited to run a lap around the stadium.
"It was a pretty powerful moment for everyone," said Howard on the university's website, "especially for those who were in Boston and who were affected by it."
The team also wore Boston Marathon decals on the back of their helmets.
Howard, who is a red-shirt sophomore tight-end, didn't play in 2012. In the spring game, he caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Quinn, a Seekonk native, at the end.
"I couldn't have asked for a better throw from quarterback Matt Quinn," he said. "I'm happy to be back. We're all happy to be out there working hard and getting ready for the 2013 season."
The Norfolk native played quarterback at King Philip High and led the Warriors to a 9-2 record. throwing for 1,038 yards and 13 touchdowns. Before going to UMass-Amherst, Howard spent a post-graduate year at Worcester Academy, playing tight-end and defensive end.
UMass will open up the season Aug. 31 at the University of Wisconsin. Their first home game will be against the University of Maine, Saturday, Sept, 7, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
Check out the UMass highlights and post-game interviews.