Georgia TE Names Three Leaders

Lilburn, Ga.--Parkview High's <b>Stephen Gowland</b>, who was a standout at summer camps across the South this summer as a tight end, is also playing a second full-time position for the Panthers this season. He talks about getting the feel for playing full time on both sides of the ball as well as updating his recruiting.

"I have always played defensive end," Stephen Gowland says. "I played both ways my freshman year on JV and then last year I started like three or four games. But, this year is my first year to play both ways full-time on varsity."

The six-foot-four, 222-pounder adds that defense is a place he could see himself playing in the future. "Yeah, actually I am really having a lot of fun with it because Coach Jacobs, he played at Georgia, he is my coach," Gowland says about playing defense. "Just the way he is and his love of the game is incredible. He makes sure we get after it everyday. He says, 'You have got to go play like an All-American if you want to get there.' He told me I remind me of him and he has been rubbing off on me pretty well. It is a lot different mindset playing defense, but it is pretty fun."

Despite being still being a bit raw on defense, Gowland says that feels like he can really contribute to his team as an end as well as his normal spot at tight end. "I am really good at getting to the ball and making plays," he notes. "I will see the back go one way and I will be there getting in on the tackle. I won't be over there on the side watching somebody getting dragged down by a shoelace. I'll be over there jumping on him and making sure he's down."

In Parkview's opener vs. Camden County in the Georgia Dome last Saturday, Gowland showed the ability to make plays and get off the ball quickly on the line. However, his team suffered a tough loss by giving up a touchdown on a botched snap to the punter in the forth quarter.

"It was really rough because Camden is a great team, but it was one of those things where we played a really great game," he explains about the loss. "Our offense had a lot of question marks and we had some missed blocking assignments, but if it wasn't for that bad snap I think we could have won that game. It was a tough one to take, but we think we can play with them."

As for the recruiting trail, Gowland says he is expecting it to heat up quickly. "It is kind of like the same old stuff everyday," he notes. "Getting the same old letters and they are like 'alright we are keeping an eye on you.' I guess September is going to be different here, picking it up. Coaches can call now so it should be interesting."

As for the big tight end's offer list, he says it still looks the same. "I still have Ohio State, Wake Forest and Troy State," Gowland explains. "Coach Jacobs actually called his position coach at Georgia Coach Garner the other day. He, Coach Jacobs, has been there through the whole process and he told me that if I keep playing the way that I have been playing then there is no way people won't notice."

As for a list of favorites, Gowland says when push comes to shove there are three colleges, if they all offer, that would give him plenty to think about between now and February, and one of those three may be pushing toward the lead.

"It is kind of hard to say because I don't have all of the offers that I think I'll end up with, but Coach Jacobs has got me liking Georgia and everything," Gowland says. "That is where he played and he says it is just an awesome school, and I have been there a lot growing up here. Also, probably Auburn and Ohio State. Yeah, probably those three."

Gowland also notes that he got the chance to camp at two of his three probable favorites during his busy summer schedule. 

"I went to Auburn, Wake Forest, Georgia and Florida," he says. "They were all different. I think Auburn was the most fun camp out of all four of them because it was all about the competition the whole time. Georgia and Florida were both fun, but they were more just like getting around to see the campus and everything, all of the stuff they had to offer outside of football. The best part about Auburn was just getting out there and competing and showing everybody what you can do."

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories