- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- ESPN 150 tight end O.J. Howard (Prattville, Ala./Autauga Academy) has been committed to Alabama for over a year, and he’s as firm as ever with the decision. Still, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban wanted to make an in-home visit with Howard and his family before the in-state recruit enrolls at UA.
Last week, Saban stopped by his school to talk with the football coach and the principal before going over to Howard’s house to spend time with his family.
“It was great,” Howard said. “Coach had fun and talked with everybody. He had a blast. He came out here and said it was like back where he’s from -- West Virginia, the country -- but he said where he’s from is more country than where I’m from. He enjoyed it, and we enjoyed him.”
The majority of the conversation was not about football, but the two did talk about the Tide’s upcoming game with Notre Dame in the BCS title game. Howard thinks the Fighting Irish are a more formidable opponent than people are giving them credit for.
“I just think it’s going to be a good game,” he said. “The media and everybody has Notre Dame as the underdogs, but I really don’t think of them as underdogs. I think of them as a fair opponent.
“Alabama just has to go out there, limit the turnovers and go after them on the first drive. If our offense can get points on the board first, and the defense steps up real big and can get a couple turnovers, I think we’re going to pull it out. At the end of the day, I think Bama is going to win, 28-10.”
On Thursday, the tight end combination of Howard and Josh McNeil, otherwise known as the Tide Towers, fell apart, as McNeil decommitted from Alabama due to academic reasons.
However, Howard is more concerned with the Tide’s chances of landing ESPN 150 wide receiver Robert Foster. He’s expected to announce his decision Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET at his school. He will choose between Alabama and Pittsburgh.
“He’s one of the guys that I think we really could use,” Howard said. “He’s a really good receiver. He’s a really big recruit for us. If we could get him, that would be awesome. Him and Amari Cooper, that’d be a pretty nice combination, so hopefully we can get him.”
5dEdward Aschoff and Alex Scarborough
5dAlex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf