John Lomax III, thrust the blade into the 20-year-old defensive back during a fight between a group of football players and another group of guys because of a comment a player made about a woman.
The 22-year-old had been charged with murder, but pleaded no contest to first-degree manslaughter in January.
Howard, a Miami native whose nickname was Jazz, died at a hospital from a single wound to his abdomen, just hours after helping the Huskies to a homecoming game win over Louisville.
UConn football player Michael Smith told police that Howard ran across the street yelling "They got me," before collapsing.
Witnesses told cops that the two groups confronted one another outside the Student Union and punches were thrown. Several football players, including Howard, walked to a spot near UConn's basketball arena, while Lomax and another man went back to their car and armed themselves.
Returning they stabbed the player who many believed had the potential to make the NFL.