Two-Way Standout Enjoys Trip To Auburn

This two-way standout from the Peach State recently tripped to the Plains and came away very impressed.

Lilburn, Ga.--Parkview High School's two-way standout athlete Stephen Gowland recently tripped to Auburn to watch the Tigers take on LSU and says he came away very impressed.

"It was awesome," Gowland says about his unofficial visit. "I had a great time. Just being at Tiger Walk and seeing the support. And they said during the game it was a new attendance record and I mean you could definitely tell--just the atmosphere around the game.

"Everybody on campus was just so pumped about the game and everything," the big tight end and defensive end adds. "It would be a great place to get to play. To have that many people care about you and the hometown team. Just driving down there we must have seen countless numbers of cars with Auburn stuff all over them. It was just great to see people care that much about a team."

The 6-4, 222-pounder also notes that he got to see one of his former Parkview teammates while he was in town. "Brad Lester, who went to my high school, I saw him in Tiger Walk and gave him a high five when he was going down there," he says. "Then, after the game when we went into the locker room he kind of got me to talk to a few of the players so it was pretty cool."

Gowland says that he also got to speak with a couple of the Auburn coaches, one of them pretty extensively. "Yeah, I got to talk to Coach (Greg) Knox and Coach (Steve) Ensminger," he explains. "Me and Coach Knox had a long, good talk about how my season has been going and kind of what to expect from the game, what kind of offensive plays they would be running and things to look for in the game."

Stephen Gowland

Along with checking out potential colleges, Gowland and his Parkview teammates have had the tough task of trying to win Parkview's fourth state title in the past five seasons to keep them busy this fall. "We are doing pretty good," he notes. "After that first tough loss we bounced back and had two blowout wins in a row.

"We had one 35-7 and one 37-7 so we are doing pretty good after that," Gowland adds about fighting back after dropping their opener to Camden County 12-10. "Then this past week we won 14-7 so we are coming on strong. Last week was our first week in region play, and region eight is probably the toughest region in the state and we don't have any off weeks from here on out. So, we are going to have to come together as a team now and just go for it."

The senior adds that he has been having a good year so far at tight end, but also at his new position, defensive end. "I have four catches for about 70 or 80 yards," Gowland notes. "And on defense it is kind of ironic, I was actually leading the team in tackles through three games and I am not sure how many I had last game, yet. But, I had like 30 tackles and three for a loss through three games."

The senior also says that he has not picked up any new offers just yet, but that he has received a lot of phone calls during September and a couple of new teams have stepped up their interest. "Coach Luke from Ole Miss has called me every week that he can, like the first day so he has been calling a lot and Tennessee has been calling a lot, and I don't even know, a lot of other schools."

However, despite the growing interest from Knoxville and Oxford, Gowland notes that for right now his top three would still have to be Georgia, Auburn and Ohio State.

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