Clay Bowler Came To Love Boise So Much There Was Only One Place To Play Ball..

Long before he committed to Boise State as a preferred walk on, Holtville, Calif., linebacker Clay Bowler got a first-hand look at what the City of Trees and the university have to offer.

Clay Bowler, a 2014 high school graduate, served a two-year LDS mission in Boise, and six months of it were spent on BSU's campus.

"I had always liked Boise State growing up, and I enjoyed watching them play," Bowler said. "I served on campus for so long and fell in love with it."

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound athlete returned home from his LDS mission in July, and got in contact with Justin Hannon of Nationwide Recruits. Bowler began working out with him, and eventually the relationship led to Hannon getting in touch with Boise State defensive coordinator Andy Avalos.

"He got an official visit to Boise set up for me, and around Thanksgiving I went back to the place I fell in love with," Bowler said. "I went up there and met with Coach Avalos. He ended up offering me a preferred walk-on spot."

That offer, of course, Bowler accepted immediately.

The Broncos have had success with returned missionaries on their football team in the past. The most recent example is senior linebacker Darren Lee, but also includes former Bronco starting MLB Dallas Dobbs, who himself was an option QB in High School, largely because he was the best athlete on the team, ala Bowler, who played all over the field at Holtville. And like Dobbs, Bowler brings plenty to the table for Boise State.

"They like my athleticism and work ethic," he said. "They like my leadership and maturity.

"In high school I was an athlete that played three sports. In football I actually played quarterback my senior year. I ran the option."

Bowler held interest from smaller universities as a prep athlete, but those disappeared when he decided to serve a mission. But, the Southern California athlete says things worked out exactly how they were supposed to.

"Serving a mission was the best decision I ever made," he said.

Bowler will be on campus and enrolled in classes in January.

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