He never complained despite not being target enough during his four-year career at the University of Alabama, but O.J. Howard anticipates being a superstar at the next level.
With him gone, the Crimson Tide returns six tight ends — including Miller Forristall.
Forristall, a three-star in the 2016 recruiting class, finished second on the team in yards per catch (14.60) while helping Alabama secure a Southeastern Conference championship and appear in its second College Football Playoff National Championship. He was responsible for getting the key block in Jalen Hurts’ 30-yard touchdown run against Clemson prior to the team falling, 35-31.
According to head coach Nick Saban, Forristall does possess some qualities that make him “O.J. Howard-like,” but as yours truly looks at the sixth installment of Crimson Spotlight it will be interesting to see how much Forristall could be target under Brian Daboll’s offense this fall.
Crimson Spotlight #6: Miller Forristall
Position: Tight end
Weight: 238 pounds
2016 stats: five catches, 73 receiving yards
Forristall was a talented H-back/tight end when he signed in Alabama’s 2016 class out of Cartersville (Ga.) High School. As a senior, he accounted for 902 receiving yards with 11 touchdowns on 57 catches. A pair of his biggest receptions during his freshman year at Tuscaloosa came versus University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University, including a critical a 22-yard grab along the sideline against the Tigers to set up Hurts’ 21-yard score.
He’s added 13 pounds this offseason and expects to be a security blanket on third down. Per former Tide quarterback Josh Palet, he said that in meetings with ex-offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin the quarterbacks noticed how open Forristall was in games.
“He wasn’t the biggest or fastest guy, but Miller knew how to get open,” Palet said.
“He was more open than Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart and O.J. Howard last season. Miller is an underrated route runner and has good hands to catch the ball. If Jalen takes his time this fall, he will be able to locate Forristall open downfield.”
Hale Hentges and Irv Smith Jr are two very capable players, but Forristall just has a knack for getting separation and gaining chunk yards. Like his predecessor, he will have to continue improving his blocking yet Forristall has shown a lot of effort during fall practice.
Seeing how Daboll assisted Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett to success as a tight ends coach for the New England Patriots, Tide fans can only fathom what he’ll be able to do with a confident Hurts hooking up with Forristall and others downfield.
2017 projected stats
20 catches, 250 yards, 3 TDs
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