Recruiting Update: OG Nick Rowland

Cross-Bay Battle?

One of the players Scout recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman was extremely high on in our recent chat session is Arizona OG Nick Rowland. The Bootleg's Scott Cooley checks in with one of the top linemen on our 2010 board. It looks like a battle with our cross-bay rival Cal, especially if USC doesn't offer. With grades and scores the staff always likes to see, Rowland is clearly a possibility.

Recruiting Update: OG Nick Rowland

The Centennial Coyotes (Peoria, Ariz.) have won three consecutive state championships and 40 of the team's last 41 games. Anchoring one of the best offensive lines in Arizona is Scout.com's No. 4 ranked OG, Nick Rowland, who dons two of those title rings.

 

"I've started every game on the line since my sophomore season," said the 6-5, 290-pound Rowland. "I think all the guys are working really hard this summer, and I don't see why we won't win a fourth [state championship]."

 

Rowland has been methodically preparing for his senior season of high school football. He has been working out with his team and coaches, and recently attended the Rising Stars Camp at USC.

 

"I thought I had a real good showing [at the camp]," he said. "This summer I am just trying to work on my overall strength and speed. In fact, yesterday I ran a 5.11 with my coach in the forty. So my speed has improved so much this offseason, it's incredible, I love it."

 

Shaving almost an entire second off a 40-yard dash time for a lineman of Rowland's size is big. The list of offers Rowland has on the table is also big, and Pac-10 heavy.

 

Currently, a total of 10 schools have extended scholarships to the top offensive lineman in Arizona. The list includes Stanford, Oregon, Cal, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, Colorado, Colorado State, San Diego State and Wyoming.

 

Rowland hasn't taken any visits this summer outside of the USC camp, but attended Stanford's Junior Day in late February. He admitted that he gained a better understanding of Stanford while he was there.

 

"I got to see the campus first-hand, meet the coaches, sit in on a class and meet some professors," he said. "Overall it was a great experience and I learned a lot about Stanford."

 

Meeting the professors and attending a class was important to Rowland because one of his primary factors in choosing a school is academics. Other ingredients in his selection process are location, coaching staff, teammates and the state of the football program.

 

"Those [factors] are basically it, but in the end it will just come down to where I feel the most comfortable," he said.

 

When asked if he defined "comfortable" as staying close to home with family and friends, Rowland dismissed the notion.

 

"I don't think staying close to home will play a factor in my decision at all," he said. "It's mostly the environment I am looking for."

 

In Rowland's first interview with The Bootleg, the four-star prospect said that Coach Harbaugh stood out more than any of the coaches he had conversed with. After months of recruiting and many phone calls from coaches, that fact remains the same.

"[Coach Harbaugh] is a very energetic guy with a passion for football," Rowland said. "It seems like he genuinely cares about his players and his program. He's just a nice, down-to-earth guy."

 

Rowland is still narrowing down his list, but gave a glimpse of his Top 4 after reporting his scheduled official visits during the fall.

 

"I haven't narrowed [the list] completely down, but I've started," he said. "I have set up official visits to Cal Berkeley, Stanford and Washington. Another official visit I will be taking is to ASU, but I haven't really talked to them about that yet."

 

Rowland is still unsure which school will earn the fifth official visit, but it appears that program will be No. 5 on his list.

 

The visit to The Farm is scheduled for September 26. The Cardinal will be taking on the Huskies that evening, a team that along with Stanford, seems to be held in high regard with Rowland. USC is another school Rowland is high on and he hopes to receive an offer from the program.

 

Scout.com analysts have tabbed Rowland as a player that possesses exceptional drive-blocking skills, intelligence and strength. He believes that the gift above his shoulder pads is his best asset.

 

"I would probably have to go with my intelligence," said Rowland. "I just have a knack for recognizing things changing, like they always do in football. I have a good instinct of where to go and where to block, and then executing it."

 

Rowland finished his junior campaign with a 3.7 GPA and secured a 1780 on the SAT. Rowland is done taking standardized tests with a strong score like that, and is looking to major in business with a minor in sports management in college.

 

"I think a business degree leaves a lot of doorways open, but ideally I would like to work for a sports firm and maybe be an agent," Rowland said of his post-football plans. "I just have a hard time envisioning my life without sports so that's something I would like to continue on with even after I'm done playing."

 

With Rowland's official visits slated for September and early October, his decision will come shortly thereafter.

 

"Ideally, I would like to make my decision in mid-October."


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