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O.J. Howard | Tight End

Team: Alabama Crimson Tide
Ht / Wt:  6'6' / 251

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Alabama senior TE O.J. Howard caught six passes for 77 yards in the school's 51-3 win over Mississippi State.
This was a season high in yards for the Alabama tight end, who returned to school following a 208 yard National Championship game. Therefore, this was Howard's second highest yardage total in tow years. Don't let the numbers concern you, as Howard is as close to a complete tight end as college football produces. Nov 12 - 5:03 PM

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Alabama senior TE O.J. Howard logged a season-high eight receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's win over Texas A&M.

Alabama's next-highest receiver, Calvin Ridley, had only four catches. The eight catches more than doubled Howard's previous season-high. Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin haven't necessarily kept their promise to feature Howard in this year's offense, but the Tide have so many future NFL skill position players that it would be a little ridiculous for Howard to complain about it.
Oct 22 - 7:36 PM

In NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah's straw poll, five-of-five queried executives chose Alabama senior TE O.J. Howard over Michigan's Jake Butt.

"Howard is the better prospect," the first said. "He's faster and a bigger playmaker. However, Butt is a better blocker and he catches the ball more consistently." Another comped Butt to Jason Witten but sided with Howard anyway. A third chose Howard because he "gives your offense more mismatch opportunities because of his athleticism." The fourth said Howard is "a better blocker and he plays much faster" and the fifth said he "would take a chance on the skill set of Howard over the steadiness of Butt."
Source: NFL.com
Sep 30 - 8:32 PM

Alabama senior TE O.J. Howard had three catches for 60 yards and a score in Saturday's 48-0 win over Kent.

This was easily Howard's most productive game of the year. We were expecting Alabama to feature Howard more in the passing game this fall -- they, in fact, promised Howard to do just that in convincing him not to declare for the draft -- but the tight end has finished with either two or three catches in each of the team's first four games. This was his first score of 2016.
Sep 24 - 3:24 PM

Alabama HC Nick Saban praised the blocking improvements senior TE O.J. Howard made in the spring under the tutelage of position coach Mario Cristobal.

"We know what O.J. can do catching the ball, but he's worked hard to become a better player when we're not throwing it, and that makes him even more of a threat in our offense," Saban said. Howard shockingly bypassed the NFL Draft over the winter, explaining that he had plenty to work on. In addition to his gains blocking, Howard has been assured he'll be a bigger part of the offense this fall. Prior to the 6-foot-6, 240-pounder's supernova title performance against Clemson (five catches for 208 yards and two touchdowns), he'd gone 32 games (over two years) without reaching the end zone. Howard, who wants to get up to 250 pounds by the opener, went No. 16 in Todd McShay's first 2017 mock draft.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 9 - 8:30 PM

CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang wrote of Alabama senior TE O.J. Howard that "[s]couts have a tendency to remember national title breakout performances."

Howard had himself something of a breakthrough game against Clemson, racking up five catches for 208 yards and two touchdowns. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound senior should theoretically see increased touches in 2016, with HC Nick Saban going so far in January as to say that it was "bad coaching" to not utilize his stud tight end more. Prior to that huge title game performance, Howard did not surpass 70 yards receiving or catch a touchdown in any one game. Rang ranks him as the No. 5 senior prospect in this class.
Source: CBS Sports
May 18 - 12:54 PM

Alabama senior TE O.J. Howard ran a 4.65 forty during Alabama's spring testing.

He added a 365-pound clean, 425-pound bench, 500-pound squat and 9-foot-11 broad jump. All marks were exceptional, with the clean tied for best on the Tide and the bench tied for best in the non-linemen category.
Source: AL.com
May 16 - 9:54 PM

Alabama junior TE O.J. Howard believes he'll be a bigger role in the offense next season.

Of his 5-208-1 line in the National Championship Game against Clemson, Howard said the usage made him "think about coming back and making plays next season." After the game, Tide head coach Nick Saban said: "Quite honestly, he should have been more involved all year long," and admitted how it was "bad coaching on my part." Incredibly, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Howard had only 33 catches for 394 yards and zero touchdowns through 14 games prior to that tilt. "It’ll get me more involved in the offense," Howard said in extrapolating the game plan forward into 2016. We don't know who Alabama's will be quite yet, but the offense is going to be dangerous no matter what with WR Calvin Ridley and Howard pairing to not allow defenders to gang up on RBs Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris.
Source: ESPN.com
Jan 20 - 4:34 PM

Alabama junior TE O.J. Howard will return to school.

We assume that HC Nick Saban and OC Lane Kiffin have promised Howard a far greater role in the offense after illogically ignoring him in the passing game over the past few seasons. The 6-foot-6, 240-pounder went off for five catches, 208 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the National Championship Game against Clemson, perhaps an appetizer of what we'll see in the fall. Rotoworld's Josh Norris had ranked Howard as the No. 23 overall draft prospect, writing: "The tight end can get open in the intermediate level with athleticism and body positioning, but what stood out was his yards after catch capability. He has plenty of straight line speed which will be maximized by accurate passes."
Jan 18 - 3:44 PM

Per ESPN's Chris Low, Alabama junior TE O.J. Howard plans to return to school for the 2016 season.

The Alabama Media Group was reporting on Friday that Howard would be returning to Alabama in 2016 and Low's report backs this up. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound junior exploded in the National Championship Game against Clemson, catching five passes for 208 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Outside of that fantastic game, though, Howard was largely limited on offense. That's no slight on his talent. Alabama HC Nick Saban's already admitted that the tight end was underutilized this past season. Rotoworld's Josh Norris ranks him as the No. 23 overall draft prospect.
Jan 16 - 3:07 PM

The Alabama Media Group reports that Alabama junior TE O.J. Howard is leaning towards returning to school.

Rotoworld's Josh Norris ranks the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Howard as the No. 23 overall draft prospect. While earning a first- or second-round call is in the cards for Howard in this weak TE class, it's possible Nick Saban and company are currently in his ear about a much bigger role in the passing offense next year. Saban and OC Lane Kiffin both conceded Howard was underused this year (he was the season before, as well). CBS Sports ranks Howard as the No. 3 draft-eligible tight end prospect and projects a second-round selection if Howard declares. Stay tuned, kids.
Source: Matt Zenitz
Jan 15 - 4:10 PM

Rotoworld's Josh Norris ranks Alabama TE O.J. Howard as the No. 23 overall draft prospect.

"After two years (plus a few games) of clamoring for Howard to be a focal point of Alabama’s offense, he finally was in the National Championship Game," Norris wrote. "The tight end can get open in the intermediate level with athleticism and body positioning, but what stood out was his yards after catch capability. He has plenty of straight line speed which will be maximized by accurate passes." Howard posted a middling 38-602-2 line this fall, but the lack of production speaks far more about Alabama's offensive game plan than Howard himself. Alabama coach Nick Saban admitted as much.
Source: Rotoworld
Jan 15 - 3:10 PM

Alabama coach Nick Saban admitted the team underused junior TE O.J. Howard this year.

"O.J., quite honestly, should have been more involved all year long," Saban said. "Sometimes he was open and we didn't get him the ball, but I think the last two games have been breakout games for him in terms of what he's capable of and what he can do. I would say it's bad coaching on my part that he didn't have the opportunity to do that all year long, because he is really a good athlete, and he's improved tremendously as a player this year." Howard went off in the title game on Monday, converting five catches into 208 yards and two touchdowns. "You know, it makes me think about coming back and making plays next season for Coach," Howard said when asked about Saban's comments. "It'll get me more involved in the offense." Which is a good thing, because Howard was indeed criminally underused all season, posting a meager 38-602-2 line despite Monday's monster showing.
Source: ESPN 1660
Jan 12 - 6:34 PM

If Alabama junior TE O.J. Howard declared for the NFL Draft "it would be hard for scouts to ignore his upside," CBS Sports' Rob Rang observed.

"Howard hasn't shown the development as an inline blocker and route-runner that scouts would prefer but if the junior were to declare early for the NFL, it would be hard for scouts to ignore his upside - especially with this year's tight end class once again lacking," Rang wrote. The Alabama junior had the breakout performance evaluators have been waiting for, hauling in five passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns in Monday's 45-40 win over Clemson. Rang adds that Howard "oozes NFL upside, possessing the frame and speed to present" problems at the next level.
Source: CBS Sports
Jan 12 - 2:16 PM

Alabama junior TE O.J. Howard caught five passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns in Monday's 45-40 win over Clemson in the CFP National Championship Game.

Howard came through with his biggest game of the season when it mattered most. And it's not even close. His previous best yardage total in 2015 was 70 yards against Ole Miss on September 19, while he entered Monday's contest having not caught a single touchdown this season. He hauled in a pair of long scoring bombs (53 yards in the third quarter, 51 in the fourth) from QB Jacob Coker in Monday's title affair, both coming on spectacular defensive lapses by Clemson's defense. On the latter touchdown, there wasn't anybody within 20 yards (approximate) of the 6-foot-6, 240-pound junior. Despite a relatively quiet receiving line for the 2015 campaign at 38-602-2, Howard has the tools to play in the NFL. That he hasn't shown it in the numbers probably says more about Alabama's offensive style than Howard himself. After the game, he was named co-MVP, sharing the honors with CB Eddie Jackson, who picked off a Deshaun Watson pass in the second quarter.
Jan 12 - 12:52 AM