Former Alabama and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard finds his transition to the NFL to be a lot like one particular annual game he played in college.
“ … it’s like an Alabama-LSU matchup every day,” Howard told reporters Thursday. “That’s exactly what it is. It’s an SEC game every day for me. It’s no non-conference games. Everybody’s good. You have to have great technique, and it’s more mental than anything.”
Alabama-LSU is considered to be one of college football’s top rivalries, with a plethora of NFL-caliber talent on both teams. During its 2011 “Game of the Century” matchup during the regular season, for example, 45 players (48 overall) between the Crimson Tide and Tigers who played in the game were later taken in the NFL draft.
Howard, a former five-star recruit, played four seasons at Alabama from 2013-16 and went 4-0 against LSU. The Crimson Tide has won the last six in the series following a 10-0 road win last season.
Howard was selected with the 19th overall pick in April’s NFL draft. He was the first tight end picked.
Overall, Alabama and LSU had a combined 18 players (10 Alabama, 8 LSU) taken in the most recent NFL draft.
Howard’s comments were made on the eve of the start of the Buccaneers’ training camp, which began Friday.
(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)
© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.