O. J. Howard
Howard at MacDill Air Force Base in 2018
|No. 80 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Born:||November 19, 1994|
|Height:||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Weight:||251 lb (114 kg)|
|High school:||Autauga Academy|
|NFL Draft:||2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 19|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2019|
O'Terrius Jabari "O. J." Howard (born November 19, 1994) is an American football tight end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Alabama, and was drafted by the Buccaneers in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Howard attended Autauga Academy in Prattville, Alabama. As a high school junior, Howard was asked not to bring a white girl to the Autauga Academy prom because the school's board of directors objected to interracial dating.
Howard was rated by Rivals.com and Scout.com as a five-star recruit and was ranked by both as the best tight end in his class. He committed to the University of Alabama to play college football.
As a true freshman at Alabama in 2013, Howard played in 13 games with five starts. He made his collegiate debut with three receptions for 68 yards in a victory over Texas A&M. On October 19, against Arkansas, he scored his first collegiate touchdown. In his next game, a victory over LSU, he had a 52-yard receiving touchdown. He finished the year with 14 receptions for 269 yards and two touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2014, he had 17 receptions for 260 yards. His best performance of the season was when he had three receptions for 81 yards in a loss to Ole Miss. As a junior in 2015, Howard had 38 receptions for 602 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was the Offensive MVP of Alabama's victory over Clemson in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship after recording five receptions for 208 yards and two touchdowns. As a senior in 2016, he had 45 receptions for 595 yards and three touchdowns. His best performance of the season came in the National Championship rematch against Clemson. In the 35–31 loss, he had four receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown.
Howard was considered by some to be underutilized in the Crimson Tide offense despite back to back seasons recording the most receptions ever for a tight end under Saban at Alabama. When asked about Howard's role in the offense after the 2016 season, Saban said, "O.J., quite honestly, should have been more involved all year long."
|O. J. Howard|
Coming out of college, Howard was projected as a first round pick by the majority of NFL experts and scouts. He received an invitation to the Senior Bowl and chose to participate although he was already a first round prospect. He was able to raise his stock by having a significant week of practice for the Senior Bowl and was voted by a panel of scouts as Senior Bowl's top practice player of the week. Howard finished the game with four passes for 39 receiving yards, helping the South defeat the North 16-15. He attended the NFL Combine and completed all the required combine and positional drills. At Alabama's Pro Day, he chose to only run positional drills for the representatives and scouts. Howard was ranked the top tight end in the draft by Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Pro Football Focus, NFLDraftScout.com, NFL analyst Mike Mayock, and NFL analyst Bucky Brooks.
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump||Bench press|
|6 ft 5 3⁄4 in
|33 3⁄4 in
|4.51 s||1.55 s||2.61 s||4.16 s||6.85 s||30 in
|10 ft 1 in
|All value from NFL Combine|
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Howard in the first round (19th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. He was only the second Alabama tight end selected in the first round in the common draft era, after Ozzie Newsome in 1978. On May 22, 2017, Howard signed with the Buccaneers, a four-year deal worth $11 million featuring a $6.2 million signing bonus.
Due to Hurricane Irma, Howard and the Buccaneers had to move their Week 1 game to later in the season. On September 17, 2017, in Week 2, Howard made his professional regular season debut and caught one reception for 17-yards in the Buccaneers 29–7 victory over the Chicago Bears. In Week 4, against the New York Giants, he recorded a 58-yard reception for the first touchdown of his career. In Week 7, against the Buffalo Bills, he had a breakout game with six receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns. He was placed on injured reserve on December 20, 2017. He started the first 14 games his rookie season, finishing with 26 receptions for 432 yards and six touchdowns.
In Week 2, against the Philadelphia Eagles, Howard recorded a 75-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick as part of a 96-yard performance in the victory. In Week 9, against the Carolina Panthers, he recorded two receiving touchdowns in the loss. On November 20, 2018, he was placed on injured reserve after suffering foot and ankle injuries in Week 11. He finished the season with 34 receptions for 565 yards and five touchdowns in ten games and eight starts.
Howard played in 14 games and recorded 34 receptions for 459 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown in the 2019 season.
On April 29, 2020, the Buccaneers exercised the fifth-year option on Howard's contract.
- "UA Game tour: Alabama commit O.J. Howard". ESPN.com. October 5, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
- "Watch List ATH Howard too good to be true". ESPN.com. November 8, 2011. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
- Goodman, Joseph (May 31, 2016). "How the discrimination of Alabama football star O.J. Howard changed a school". AL.com.
- Bassinger, Thomas (April 28, 2017). "O.J. Howard wanted to bring his white girlfriend to prom. His school said no". Tampa Bay Times.
- Al-Khateeb, Zac (May 31, 2016). "Alabama high school would not let Tide TE O.J. Howard take white girlfriend to prom". SEC Country.
- "O.J. Howard". Rivals.com.
- "NFL, College Sports, NBA and Recruiting". cfn.scout.com.
- Gould, Izzy. "Reports: O.J. Howard commits to Alabama". AL.com.
- "Alabama at Texas A&M Box Score, September 14, 2013". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
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- Rogers, Ken. "Tide expects to utilize tight end O.J. Howard more often". Dothan Eagle.
- "Bama tight end O.J. Howard turning potential into ability". Ledger-Enquirer.
- "O.J. Howard 2013 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
- "O.J. Howard 2014 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
- "Alabama at Ole Miss Box Score, October 4, 2014". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
- "O.J. Howard 2015 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
- Zenitz, Matt. "O.J. Howard, Eddie Jackson named national championship game MVPs". AL.com.
- Braziller, Zach (January 12, 2016). "No-name tight end becomes name Alabama fans will never forget". New York Post.
- "O.J. Howard 2016 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
- "College Football Championship - Clemson vs Alabama Box Score, January 9, 2017". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
- Stiles, Adam (January 27, 2017). "O.J. Howard is shining at the Senior Bowl and has no idea why Alabama hardly used him". SB Nation. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Schad, Joe (February 4, 2017). "2017 NFL Draft: Why Miami Dolphins must consider TE O.J. Howard". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Emma, Chris (January 26, 2017). "Emma: Alabama TE O.J. Howard Has Star Potential In NFL". CBS Sports. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Arkush, Arthur; Fishbain, Kevin (January 24, 2017). "Senior Bowl South Notebook: Alabama TE O.J. Howard as advertised in first practice". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Triplett, Mike (January 27, 2017). "Alabama TE O.J. Howard 'most complete player' at Senior Bowl". ESPN. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Goodbread, Chase (January 28, 2017). "Scouts vote O.J. Howard Senior Bowl's top practice player". NFL.com. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Goodbread, Chase (January 28, 2017). "What we learned from Senior Bowl: Zay Jones boosts draft stock". NFL.com. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Burke, Chris (April 28, 2017). "2017 NFL draft rankings: Top prospects by position". si.com. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Legwold, Jeff (April 22, 2017). "Ranking 2017 Draft's Top 100 Prospects". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- Palazzolo, Steve. "Top 32 Prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft". profootballfocus.com. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
- "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - O.J. Howard". www.nfl.com.
- "O.J. Howard, DS #1 TE, Alabama". www.draftscout.com. 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
- Sessler, Marc (April 27, 2017). "Bucs grab tight end O.J. Howard with 19th selection". NFL.com.
- "Howard signs rookie contract with Tampa Bay Buccaneers". SEC Country. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- "2017 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Starters, Roster, & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
- "Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - September 17th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
- "New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - October 1st, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
- "Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills - October 22nd, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
- Smith, Scott (December 20, 2017). "Standout Rookies Among Five Bucs Headed to IR". Buccaneers.com. Archived from the original on December 23, 2017.
- "O.J. Howard 2017 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
- Inabinett, Mark. "Check out O.J. Howard's 75-yard touchdown catch". AL.com. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- "O.J. Howard records his second TD of the day against Carolina". 247 Sports. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
- Smith, Scott (November 20, 2018). "Bucs Lose O.J. Howard to IR, Sign DB Josh Shaw". Buccaneers.com.
- "O.J. Howard 2018 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
- "O.J. Howard 2019 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
- Smith, Scott (April 29, 2020). "Bucs Exercise Fifth-Year Option on O.J. Howard". Buccaneers.com.