John Lomax III, 22, was sentenced Friday in Connecticut in the death of Howard , who died during an on-campus fight in Oct. 2009.
After initially being charged with murder, Lomax had pleaded no contest to first-degree manslaughter charges in January.
Authorities say Lomax stabbed the 20-year-old defensive back in the abdomen during a fight between a group of football players and a group that included Lomax. Investigators believe the fight started over a comment a player made about a woman.
Howard, 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.
Howard grew up in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood, and was a star at Edison High.