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O.J. Howard | Tight End

Team: Alabama Crimson Tide
Ht / Wt:  6'6' / 240

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Bruce Feldman points to Alabama junior TE O.J. Howard as a player who can most impact their school's success this season.
Howard only caught 17 passes last season, which is verging on ridiculous for a player many consider to have "special tools." The Amari Cooper targets have to go somewhere. Alabama will focus on running the ball with a stable of backs, but look for Howard to be more involved than ever before. Sep 3 - 9:45 AM
Source: Fox Sports

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Alabama OC Lane Kiffen called junior TE O.J. Howard "a very special player."

Howard's numbers last season (17 catches, 260 yards, no touchdowns) don't impress, but Kiffen explained that "it’s not Little League, where everyone gets the same amount of touches." He specifically cited the need to feed the ball to star wideout Amari Cooper last season. With Cooper gone, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Howard should see more opportunities to utilize his freakish combo of speed and strength. He runs a 4.59 forty and can bench 405 pounds.
Aug 26 - 5:51 PM

National Football Post's Eric Saltzman believes Alabama junior TE O.J. Howard "has been greatly under-utilized at Alabama" and is thus "raw as far as a receiver."

"Howard looks like he has the making of a star tight end," Saltzman wrote. "However, on the rare occasion he gets the ball, it is obvious that he could dominate the NFL. Like many tight ends who are more receiver than blocker, Howard really hasn’t shown a strong ability as a blocker." The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Howard runs a 4.59 second forty, benches 405 pounds and squats 500 pounds, but he's caught only 31 passes in two seasons.
Aug 24 - 7:19 PM

Alabama junior TE O.J. Howard is expected to be a big part of the school's passing game.

Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin told reporters as much. Hopefully it is the truth, as Howard is one of the more talented tight ends in the country but only caught 31 passes in two seasons on limited targets. Howard is averaging 17 yards per catch, which is a high figure for the position. Outside of Derrick Henry, Alabama is retooling on offense, so focusing on getting Howard more involved makes a lot of sense.
Aug 10 - 10:09 AM

Alabama junior tight end O.J. Howard "has not lived up to the hype" but still "runs like a gazelle" and retains upside, writes ESPN's Alex Scarborough.

"If anything, the anticipation for his emergence as one of the league’s best tight ends has increased," Scarborough wrote. "If Howard becomes the safety valve for Jake Coker or whoever ends up starting under center, his numbers could skyrocket." The analyst also believes Howard's targets will increase greatly with Amari Cooper in the NFL. "In the case of Howard, splitting him out wide at receiver could be the answer," he wrote. "Then again, maybe he needs to have more short passes thrown his way where he can run after the catch. But whatever it is, you get the sense that there has to be an answer out there."
Jul 26 - 3:30 PM

Alabama junior tight end O.J. Howard is a "player with a decorated high school career who needs to raise his game," observes ESPN's Mel Kiper.

We can't say that we disagree, though Howard certainly has plenty of time to turn up the heat on the field. "The potential is significant for the 6-6, 240-pound Howard, but he didn't take that big step forward in 2014 that I expected," Kiper wrote. In line with those comments, Kiper ranks Howard as the No. 3 underclassmen tight end prospect in the country, behind Evan Engram and Hunter Henry. NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein is also down on Howard, writing recently that he "came away disappointed" in a tape study. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Howard runs a 4.59 second forty.
Jul 10 - 5:58 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein "came away disappointed" in a tape study of Alabama junior tight end O.J. Howard.

"He clearly has the athleticism and seam speed to threaten defenses all over the field, but too often I saw lazy, complacent routes," Zierlein wrote. "Still, his talent after the catch and ability to hit the big play from an in-line tight end spot give him a chance to put together a big season with a new quarterback likely to lean on bigger targets like Howard. As a next-level player, Howard must improve his physicality and competitive spirit as a blocker." The analyst ranks Howard as the No. 6 tight end in the nation. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Howard runs a 4.59 second forty, benches 405 pounds and squats 500 pounds.
Jun 28 - 10:55 PM

Alabama junior tight end O.J. Howard "should have a big 2015 season if Kiffin figures out how to call plays for more than the No. 1 wide receiver," noted Walter Football.

The site ranks Howard as the No. 1 TE prospect and grades him as a Rds. 1-2 prospect. "As he proved at USC with Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, Lane Kiffin settles on one receiver and struggles to call plays for anyone else regardless of their talent or mismatch potential," it noted. "Howard's production should go up in 2015 with Amari Cooper and T.J. Yeldon in the NFL." The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Howard runs a 4.59 second forty, benches 405 pounds and squats 500 pounds. "Howard is fast, has the frame to add size and is a dangerous receiving weapon," WF concluded.
May 30 - 9:56 PM

NFL Media postulates that without Amari Cooper, Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin "could have his new quarterback look for [junior tight end O.J. Howard] more on quicker, easier throws."

"If Howard is ever going to establish himself as one of the top receiving tight ends in the game, this is the year to do it," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Chase Goodbread. "Entering his third year as a familiar face in the Crimson Tide lineup, he's only flashed his prolific talent to this point. Last season, that wasn't entirely Howard's fault, because quarterback Blake Sims was understandably locked in on Cooper." The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Howard hasn't yet dominated in the passing game, but he's still been extremely valuable to the Tide. Howard, who runs a 4.59 second forty, benches 405 pounds and squats 500 pounds, posted more than 110 knockdown blocks over the past two years.
May 28 - 10:03 PM

Alabama junior tight end O.J. Howard is "blessed with outstanding size, speed and athleticism," noted's Jamie Newberg.

The analyst ranks him as the No. 17 prospect in the land. Howard hasn't yet been given the credit he deserves for doing the dirty work, but he's been a key contributor in the Crimson Tide run game, posting more than 110 knockdown blocks over the past two years. "But where he will make a living is as a huge receiving threat," Newberg wrote. "He's tall and long and uses that to his advantage. Howard can catch the football and become a yacker. In today's NFL he could be an outstanding weapon." The 6-foot-6, 240-pounder ran a 4.59 second forty this spring.
May 18 - 9:18 PM

Alabama junior tight end O.J. Howard "will be depended on to be a bigger factor in Alabama’s offense following the departure of the Tide’s top three wide receivers as well as tight end Brian Vogler," noted

"[Howard] possesses a rare combination of size and athleticism," wrote Matt Zenitz. The publication was told by a source that Howard ran a 4.59 second forty, bench pressed 405 pounds and squatted 500 pounds during the spring. The 6-foot-6, 240-pounder, who lines up everywhere, including tight end, wide receiver and H-back, was graded by Walter Football as a first-to-second round prospect.
May 16 - 8:36 PM

When called upon, Alabama sophomore tight end O.J. Howard has "flashed the talent that made him the No. 2 tight end recruit coming out of high school in 2013," according to Scout Inc.'s Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl.

"When called upon" being the operative words. As Scout Inc. notes, Howard hasn't caught more than three passes in a game since arriving on campus, mostly because there are so many mouths to feed on the loaded Tide roster. "Listed at 6-6 and 240 pounds, he has the toughness to make plays over the middle, in addition to the speed to take the top off the coverage and break long runs after the catch," wrote Muench and Weidl.
Sat, Dec 20, 2014 12:55:00 AM

Alabama sophomore tight end O.J. Howard mentioned that "going to get the ball out of the air," was a problem early in the year.

"Probably just not me going to get the ball out of the air," Howard told "But now I've been doing a pretty good job of it, of going up and getting it and attacking the ball." The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Howard was thought to have an expanded role in Alabama's offense this season. After 12 games, Howard has 226 receiving yards on 13 catches, which ranks third on the team. The Crimson Tide prospect has now caught passes in seven of the last nine games. Howard hauled in a big 20-yard catch during Alabama's big win against Auburn.
Wed, Dec 3, 2014 02:23:00 PM

Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman has named Alabama sophomore tight end O.J. Howard as his "All-Freak Team" tight end.

"The Tide has to break in a new QB, but they’re loaded with proven studs at WR and RB, and watch out for this 6-foot-6, 240-pound sophomore, who has clocked some sub 4.5 40s and averaged more than 19 yards a catch in his freshman season," Feldman wrote. The Alabama prospect made a respectable contribution in his freshman year hauling in 14 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns. This season look for the 6-foot-6, 240 pound Howard to have an expanded role for the Crimson Tide offense.
Source: Fox Sports
Wed, Jul 9, 2014 08:26:00 AM

Alabama coach Nick Saban said freshman tight end O.J. Howard (sprained ankle) is doubtful for Saturday's game against Chattanooga.

Howard was hit high on AJ McCarron's second interception Saturday against Mississippi State. He did not return to the game. Howard wore a black, non-contact jersey at Monday's practice.
Mon, Nov 18, 2013 05:57:00 PM