O.J. Howard talks other visits

The National 100 member, from Autauga Academy in Prattville, Ala., is preparing for a big summer with visits and a trip to Oregon. Howard is committed to the University of Alabama, and it's another reason why other schools to want to lure him away from the 2011 BCS National Champions. Howard talked in-depth with Andrew Bone about his future plans.

"I am heading to the Opening in July," said O.J. Howard. "I am working out every day. I know if I get in the top 10 out there I'll be doing good. I think we are at 70 right now, and the guy said they have about 60 more invites to go. I think Reuben Foster is going out there. He is the only other one I have talked to.

Howard has more than the trip to Oregon on his summer calendar.

"I am going to take some visits this summer," he said. "I am going over to Georgia Tech. I really want to visit Ole Miss. I like the coaches there. They send me a lot of letters. Of course I am going to go to Alabama and probably Auburn. Those are automatics."

Howard continues to receive heavy attention from the other in-state SEC school. The Tide coaching staff may feel comfortable enough with Howard's commitment to allow a little freedom on tripping to other schools.

"Alabama hasn't really said anything to me about me visiting Auburn," Howard said. "They never said they don't like it. I personally think they are a little iffy about it.

The Tigers are set for their annual Big Cat weekend on Memorial Day weekend with a list of players invited kept to a small group of unofficial visitors.

"I don't really know too much about Big Cat weekend," Howard said. "I don't really know what it is. My coach said something to me about it. If we go we will go over there on Saturday. I don't plan on going over there on Friday night. I don't know yet though if I will go at all."

Howard remains committed to Alabama, but he will keep his eyes on the Tigers throughout the season.

"Right now my commitment to Alabama is pretty solid," Howard said. "I like the new offensive coordinator at Auburn [Scott Loeffler]. I also really like coach Nussmeier. Both resemble each other. I am going to wait and see how everything goes this season. I want to see how they get the ball to the tight end. My commitment to Alabama right now is pretty firm though."

The 6-foot-6, 225-pound athlete hasn't collected too many scholarship offers, but not from lack of talent. Schools want to see if he really has any interest before extending an offer to the Tide commitment.

"I haven't really picked up any other offers," Howard said. "I think I need to take some more visits. Florida State said once I visit I'll have an offer. Georgia and Mississippi State said the same thing. Georgia Tech said I will have an offer once I visit. I just haven't taken the time to go on any visits yet.

"To be honest the only school that has said they want me as a wide receiver is Georgia Tech. They said I would be a receiver in their offense. Every other school looks at me as tight.

"I think playing wide receiver in college would be great. I look at myself as a Calvin Johnson type player. I am not as big as him, but I think I can be just like him. I would like to get my speed down a little bit. I run a 4.54."

Howard is taking on the leadership role this year. He worked at quarterback this spring and is expected to remain at the position this fall.

"Spring practice went pretty good," Howard said. "I am playing quarterback right now. We are running spread, option and triple option. I think I will stay at quarterback.

"Hopefully we can get a quarterback over to our school. I think if I end up playing quarterback it will hurt me a little bit my freshman year in college. I want to be a team player though and do whatever helps my team."

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