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Pair of Tide stars earn Senior Bowl awards

Former Alabama tight end O.J. Howard (No. 88) catches TD pass versus Clemson during 2016 CFP national title game: Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

His performance this week firmly solidifies him as a top-15 draft pick.

O.J. Howard stood out from his weigh-in to the three practices that occurred at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl. Per a press release from the Senior Bowl committee on Thursday, the former Alabama tight end was name the top overall practice player of the week. He showcased consistency as both a pass catcher and run blocker, delivering the same results he brought to the Crimson Tide in the 2016 season.

Howard finished the year with 45 catches for 595 receiving yards and three touchdowns, while blocking for four 500-plus yard rushers and a 1,000-yard back in sophomore Damien Harris (1,037, two touchdowns).

Dalvin Tomlinson got the nod for defensive lineman of the week.

In his second season fully healthy, he recorded 62 tackles, three sacks, seven quarterback hurries and four pass breakups. He displayed power and footwork to fight off blocks and create pressure on the quarterback.

Tomlinson’s effort this week has a few NFL Draft pundits seeing him as the top defensive lineman prospect in this year’s class. Both guys will play in the North-South Game today at 1:30 p.m. (CT) on NFL Network.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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