FOX Sports NEXT/Scout.com's No. 1 tight end in the class of 2103, O.J. Howard, was one of the better players all week at the Under Armour All-America game. He was too big for cornerbacks and too swift for safeties, not to mention the range he has on a 6-foot-6, 230-pound frame.
"It's been fun," he said of the entire week, which culminated with a win for Team Highlight on Friday night. "The game, we got a win, but I wish I could have had a little more exposure in the game. It was fun, overall."
Howard was targeted three times in the end zone, but wasn't able to hail in a pass. The Alabama commitment did, however, get the chance to play with a handful of future teammates – all of which were on the winning team.
"It was pretty cool to get all of the commits on the same team," he said with a laugh. "We're getting ready to go to school together, so we enjoyed it and had a lot of fun."
While the recognition and bonding was nice, Howard was most surprised about how much he gathered about his own position while picking up some things that may help him in the SEC.
"Tight end, it's one of the hardest positions," he said. "If you don't have a lot of weight on you, like me, with all the linebackers it's hard to get through the middle. You have to use your hands a lot, keep running while you're running routes.
"It's a tough position, but at the same time if you get dominant position, you're unstoppable."
The Pratville (Ala.) Autuaga Academy standout is used to simply dominating small-school competition when in uniform, and he knew the week would provide a challenge despite his high ranking.
"I'm trying to go out there and prove something so I went out there with a chip on my shoulder," he admitted.
While successful, some notable linebackers gave him some trouble.
"Reuben Foster, he is going to be a pretty good linebacker," said Howard with a laugh. "(Ben) Boulware is good, too."
Foster was once an Alabama pledge, and there was chatter all week about where the No. 2 player in the class may end up – including with Alabama. But for Howard, that decision was made in about a year and a half ago and it's not changing.
"It was just the first time that I visited, it felt like home," he said of why Alabama was his school of choice. "Since then, I've felt attached and I just knew it was the place for me."
The rapport with Nick Saban and company only enhances his pledge.
"It's been a great relationship, they always stay in touch with me and my family," he said. "I can ask them about anything; it's like a father-son relationship. They're just waiting for me to be on campus."
While happy about the Under Armour game, the thought of Monday's BCS National Championship created an even bigger smile.
Said Howard, "I think the score is going to end up 24-14, ‘Bama is going to win."