- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
ESPNU Watch List tight end O.J. Howard committed to the University of Alabama last summer, but the in-state star is still being recruited by Auburn, and he visited the Crimson Tide’s rival school over the weekend for their junior day.
“It was a different experience from the first time I went because I got to meet the new offensive coordinator, Coach (Scot) Loeffler, and I really got to see a different side of Auburn,” Howard said. “I got to go to the basketball game, hang out with the coaches and I just had a lot of fun.”
Although he enjoyed the visit, Howard said he remains firm with his commitment to Alabama.
At this point, Howard wants to spend more time with Loeffler and Doug Nussmeier, the Crimson Tide’s new offensive coordinator, to get a feel for the two offenses and see where he fits in best as a tight end.
“The way I look at it, Alabama has a new offensive coordinator also, so when the season comes around this year, I’m just going to look and really see which offense best fits me as a tight end, and I’m going to go from there.”
Howard plans to return to both schools this spring and watch each team practice, focusing on the new offensive coaches and watching their schemes.
“I want to make a couple practices,” Howard said. “I’ve got to go places and see how that goes because like I said, both schools have new offensive coordinators, so I want to see these guys in action. I also want to start getting to see the playbook at Alabama early.”
The Tide commitment may also try to visit Florida State soon.
As for the UA coaching staff, Howard says that while they may not be crazy about him visiting other schools, they don’t want to tell him what he can or cannot do, which he respects.
“They never told me not to go, but they just wanted to make sure that I don’t get caught up in the other side with Auburn,” Howard said. “I think it’s really respectful because with a lot of recruits, the school allows them to visit (other schools), but they don’t want them to.”
Howard is currently in the middle of baseball season at Autauga Academy.