Friends, family pack Howard funeral service

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

A crowd of about 1,700 friends, family and teammates attended a nearly three-hour tribute to slain UConn cornerback Jasper Howard Monday.

The Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner has lots of details from the service. The one that stood out for me was the address by Jameel Moore, older brother of UConn receiver Kashif Moore. He told the crowd that he, his brother, and Huskies players Brian Parker and Michael Smith were with Howard when he was stabbed.

"We had a lot of fun until somebody pulled the fire alarm and everybody just... so many people out there... everybody just scattered," Moore said. " There was nothing more we could have did for Jazz that night. I'm sure we all would have laid down and died for Jazz. We loved Jazz; he was our brother. We told the authorities all we know and, God-willing, they're going to catch the cowards that did it to him. There's nothing more we could have did for him. He wasn't alone that night -- believe that."

Linebacker Kijuan Dabney also read a touching poem to Howard that you can read on Conner's blog.

Can the Huskies now move forward and get back to normalcy? We'll see. I can't imagine what this team has been through the last nine days. Hopefully today's ceremony provided at least a small measure of comfort and closure.