Bower, the 6-4 prospect from Meridian, Idaho, said his top three choices came down to Oregon State, Washington State and BYU. Other colleges recruiting him included Boise State, Utah, California, Arizona State and Texas Tech.
High school recruits cannot officially sign binding letters of intent until next February. He knows colleges will continue to recruit him actively until then. Some have indicated he could play both football and basketball, the latter sport for which is most noted in Idaho. He was named the Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year in basketball.
Bower recently played at the Big Time basketball tournament in Las Vegas with the top basketball prospects in the United States. Over 400 club teams participated and his team lost to the #1 ranked AAU Atlanta Celtics team.
Despite his impressive basketball credentials, he confirmed BYU football coaches did not want him to play two sports in Provo because of the commitment necessary for football and academics.
"That's okay because football is his number one love," his mother, Susan Carlson, said today. "I'm thrilled for him. This is his decision and there was no pressure from us. I'm glad, though, because I'm a die-hard BYU fan. I really like what coach Crowton is doing for the football program. I've heard so many good things about him and I like what he has to say," she added.
Since he turns 19 next spring, Bower said he will likely leave immediately for his planned LDS mission when he graduates and will probably redshirt after he returns.
The bigger news would have been if Bower had not committed to BYU since he has three brothers (Danny, Ricky and Shane) currently attending BYU. In addition, both his parents attended and graduated from the Provo campus in the ‘70s.
"I wanted to take the pressure off my back, plus I knew BYU wanted an early commit. My family would have supported me wherever I went, even if it was to another school," Bower noted.
His elder brother Ricky, currently a graduate accounting student in Provo, chose to attend the University of Wisconsin on a basketball scholarship. He transferred to BYU after playing one year there and will be a senior guard with the Cougar basketball team this year.
"Ricky loved it at Wisconsin, but he also loves BYU. He's a big fan of both schools," his mother said.
Meanwhile, Jacob said coach Crowton was delighted with his decision. "Crowton said it's good and not to take official visits to other schools since I've already committed. My official (BYU) visit is set for the winter.
"We talked about everything; not just football, but about life. He asked about my family, what I've been doing. They showed me the new football facilities and you can tell it's going to be sweet."
The 18-year-old Idaho native has drawn a lot of recruiting attention in recent months because of his phenomenal arm strength. He can apparently toss the pigskin as far as 85-yards. The combination of his arm strength and his great athleticism as an elite basketball player has Cougar coaches excited about his untapped potential.
Bower said he plans to watch the first BYU team practice tomorrow "and then me and my friends will take off home on Sunday. Hey, can you give a big shout out to Mark Griffin. He's a close family friend and a huge BYU fan?"
Um, sure thing…
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