For the second consecutive year, O.J. Howard has been named to the preseason watch list for the John Mackey Award. A big difference this year, though, is that Howard is coming off the Most Valuable Offensive Player Award in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, which puts him among the favorites for the honor.
Alabama has never had a player win the John Mackey Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end.
Howard is one of 45 on the preseason watch list announced Wednesday. The winner will be selected by the John Mackey Award Selection Committee and announced Dec. 7.
The award is named for Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey.
Last year’s winner was Hunter Henry of Arkansas.
Howard, a 6-6, 242-pound senior, is coming off one of the greatest games ever by a tight end. In Bama’s 45-40 win over Clemson for the 2015 national championship, Howard pulled in five passes for a career-high 208 yards (including a career-long 63-yarder) and two touchdowns. His 208 yards receiving were the most in a bowl game by any Alabama player in history and the most by any player in a national championship game.
For the year, Howard had 38 receptions for 602 yards and two TDs and for his three-year career the Prattville native has 69 catches for 1,131 yards and four touchdowns.