January 29, 2012

UA commit enjoys Junior Day

In addition to the three new commitments, the University of Alabama also hosted three of the four 2013 recruits who have already committed to play for the Crimson Tide, including in-state tight end O.J. Howard.

The Autauga native made the short drive to Tuscaloosa on Saturday and spent the day on UA's campus getting to know the other juniors who were in town.

"It was real fun," Howard said. "I got to meet a lot of guys, a couple guys I didn't know. They took us around campus. We went to the basketball game, which was a really good game. The Alabama basketball team pulled it off at the end, but it was a very tight game all the way to the end."

It wasn't until he arrived back home Saturday night that Howard realized that the UA coaching staff landed three more recruits for the class of 2013.

"I think I left before they committed, but I found out once I got home, and I was like 'what?' One of the guys I actually saw, but I didn't know he had committed, so I didn't get to speak with him."

The one player who Howard made a point to talk to at the Crimson Tide's Junior Day was five-star defensive end Robert Nkemdiche. The Loganville, Ga. native is considered the best player in the country for 2013 and was also visiting Tuscaloosa on Saturday.

"The one guy I was focused on and really trying to get was Robert Nkemdiche," Howard said. "I was talking to him like the whole time and trying to get him to come to Alabama. I was really working on him because I know how good he is and how good he'd be for our team in the future.

"He was just saying that he's going to try and weigh all of his options. It sounded like he really wants to come to 'Bama, but he thinks it's too early right now to commit. He wants to take some more visits, but I think eventually, he will come. I'm looking forward to playing with him if he comes to Alabama with us."

On his visit, Howard also spent time with UA assistant coaches Kirby Smart and Chris Rumph, and he watched film of the national championship game with tight ends' coach Bobby Williams, specifically looking at the tight end position.

The 6-foot-5, 221-pound star plans to come back to Tuscaloosa this spring for A-Day and may attend some other practices as well.

"I'm coming back down for A-Day," Howard said. "I'm looking forward to that. They also told me to come to spring practices, so I'll put that on my agenda to make some practices, too."

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com.


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