Breakout Player in the SEC: OJ Howard, University of Alabama

Class: Sophomore
Height: 6’ 6”
Weight: 237 pounds
2013 Stats: 14 Rec, 269 yds, 2 TD
Position: Tight End

The SEC is littered with superstar skill players and the pipeline to stardom is burgeoning with talent. University of Alabama tight end, OJ Howard (sophomore) stands ready to take his place in the spotlight as the 2014-2015 season gets underway.

While evaluating OJ Howard the first thing that jumps off the page is his natural physical attributes. Howard has the size at 6’ 6”, 237 pounds to create matchup nightmares at tight end. Clocked at 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash coming out of high school, Howard’s wheels are uncommon among even the most talented tight ends in the country. Linebackers and safeties are not used to matching up against tight ends with Howard’s combination of size and speed .

Although only achieving moderate numbers in his freshman year, Howard showed flashes of brilliance in big games. This brilliance was put on display when Howard burned the entire LSU secondary on his way to a 52-yard touchdown on November 9th, 2013. According to the Crimson Tide coaching staff, Howard followed his freshman season with a terrific spring camp and is poised for a monster sophomore campaign. On more than one occasion coaches in nearly every conference have agreed that the biggest improvement most college players make is between their freshman and sophomore seasons, and Howard should be no different. Under head coach Nick Saban, Alabama offenses have shown a preference for using the tight ends generously in the red zone. There is no doubt that Howard could make life difficult for defenses by adding a deadly hook to the already potent ‘Bama running jab.

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