Regarded as one of the most highly touted players in the nation upon arriving at the University of Alabama, O.J. Howard showed signs of greatness during his first season in an Alabama uniform. Courtesy of a big frame, soft hands, and deceptive speed, Howard is the ideal tight end for the Crimson Tide offense.
As No. 88 enters his sophomore season in Tuscaloosa, his best friend on the entire team, from a “performance assistance” standpoint, could very well be offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
Taking over for the departed Doug Nussmeier, former USC and Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin will be calling the shots for the Alabama offense in 2014, and if history is a guide for the future, O.J. Howard is poised to have a breakout season. Kiffin, who loves to utilize the tight end in the passing game, will certainly have a gem of a target in Howard. If used properly, and able to perform effectively, Howard could become one of the best tight ends in all of college football this season.
In respect to last year, as mentioned earlier, Howard showed signs of greatness, however, due to Alabama’s offensive philosophy, the pride of Prattville, Alabama was almost “placed on the shelf” at times, which certainly frustrated many fans of the Crimson Tide.
Catching 14 passes last season for a total of 269 yards, Howard was also on the receiving end of two touchdown passes. Most notably, in a high stakes contest against LSU, Howard turned a mid-range reception into a 52-yard touchdown. Outrunning the LSU secondary, it was the first time many had seen Howard’s fantastic speed.
While the Alabama quarterback situation is quite the mystery as of the present time, what shouldn’t be a mystery is the talent of O.J. Howard. If the Crimson Tide want to have success in the passing game in 2014, Howard must be an integral part of the offense.
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