Published March 7, 2013 - 8:30am
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Now with National Signing Day in the books, let’s look at the top newcomers in the SEC for 2013. Predicting the top newcomers is often very tough, and these aren’t just merely rankings of the top players. We’re going to look at what type of impact they’ll make and where they’ll make it..
No. 13 – OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
From: Prattville, AL (Autauga Academy)
Size: 6-5, 223 pounds, 4.42 40
The Skinny: Alabama kept one of the top receiving threats in the country at home in Prattville’s OJ Howard. He’s athletic enough to excel as a defender, receiver, tight end or H-back, and he certainly passes the eye test with his frame and athletic ability. He registered 854 yards of total offense and 12 touchdowns in 2012 all the while missing four weeks with a knee injury. Howard and Ricky Seals-Jones are a lot alike, as both can create mismatches as a receiving threat.
What Alabama is getting: Can you imagine a tight end or an H-back as a receiving weapon in Alabama’s offense? The Tide are getting just that, and along with receivers Amari Cooper and Kevin Norwood, among others, OJ Howard will emerge as a threat in his freshman year and should contend for a starting spot. It also bodes well that both tight end Michael Williams and H-back Kelly Johnson graduated. He should grow into a more overall tight end later in his career when he add weight to his 6-5 frame, but Howard is talented enough to be an impact player in Bama’s pro-style offense. Howard is also an early enrollee, and it bodes well for him to emerge from spring ready to play much like TJ Yeldon and Amari Cooper did last year as early enrollees.
Other impact newcomers:
- No. 14 Marquez North, Tennessee
- No. 15 Ricky Seals-Jones, Texas A&M
- No. 16 Leon Brown, Alabama
- No. 17 Fred Ross, Mississippi State
- No. 18 Tray Matthews, Georgia
- No. 19 Jonathan Allen, Alabama
- No. 20 Ben Bradley, Auburn
- No. 21 Alex Anzalone, Florida
- No. 22 Carl Lawson, Auburn
- No. 23 Frank Herron, LSU
- No. 24 Larenz Bryant, South Carolina
- No. 25 Ryan Timmons, Kentucky
Photo Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports