Alabama Crimson Tide tight end (2013-current)
(November 19, 1994 – present)
Autauga Academy (Prattville, AL)
Class of 2013 No. 19 National Prospect
Class of 2013 No. 1 Tight End
Class of 2013 No. 2 Alabama Prospect
O.J. Howard was the nation’s top-ranked tight end prospect among the Class of 2013 freshmen. He played in 10 games as a true freshman that fall hauling in 14 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns for the Crimson Tide.
His 2015 sophomore season was about the same – 17 catches for 260 yards – although Howard didn’t score any touchdowns. He continued to make contributions as a junior in 2015 even being named a semifinalist for the 2015 John Mackey Award; however, he again failed to find the end zone in the Tide’s first 14 games. With one final chance in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game versus the Clemson Tigers, however, he finally broke through with a tremendous game hauling in five catches for 208 yards and two touchdowns. In terms of receiving yards, it was the best performance by an Alabama tight end in program history, and it was the fifth-best receiving yards total by a Tide player regardless of position. For his efforts, he was named the game’s Offensive Most Valuable Player. He finished the season with 38 catches for 602 yards and two touchdowns.
His performance in the national championship game led to extended discussion about his potential in the upcoming NFL Draft where projections had him soaring up the draft board. Nevertheless, Howard ultimately decided to return to Alabama for his senior season in the fall of 2016.
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