Alabama's recruiting class is flooded with stellar prospects, however one of the most intriguing is five star tight end O.J. Howard. The 6'6'' 235 pound Howard is an Alabama native with a tremendously high ceiling. According to ESPN, Howard is the number two overall tight end and 45th best recruit in the nation (ESPN 150).
Howard offers a unique blend of size and speed. He runs a 4.49 40 yard dash and has solid hands. His versatility is almost unparalleled when it comes to tight ends. He is extremely athletic and instinctual. Howard can step in and compete for playing time due to the departures of tight ends/H-Back Kelly Johnson and Michael Williams. Scouts have been quoted saying that Howard is a "physical freak... wide receiver playing tight end." Howard likes to equate his play style to that of Vernon Davis (the definition of a "physical freak"). AJ McCaron can utilize Howard's size and turn him into a redzone threat.
Howard suffered a knee injury that set him back four weeks, however he was able to total 854 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Howard has enrolled early and will be rooming with running back recruit Derrick Henry. Howard pairs his physical abilities with a strong personality and work ethic. He should be able to perform well during spring practice and learn the system early enough to understand how the offense operates.
Howard made a name for himself at numerous 7-on-7 showcases and camps. He has all the tools needed for success and is now focused on one goal... to win titles. He will be poised to play well in Coach Saban and Nussmeier's systems if he follows the format. Only time will tell how productive Howard will be, however all the odds seem to be in his favor.
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