Oregon Athlete Has BYU Connection

Four Division I schools, three of which are from the Pac-10, have extended an offer to a Jesuit High School athlete that plays both offense and defense. However, will a personal tie to BYU's program help sway this recruit?

Keanon Lowe is a 5-foot-9-inch, 175-pound well-spoken young man with a happy-go-lucky disposition. However, on the football field that demeanor changes into one that is tough, hard-nosed and aggressive, which is why recruiters have come calling.

"I play wide receiver and defensive back," Lowe said. "I like playing wide receiver more though just because I feel like I'm more of an offensive player. I love playing DB because I love to hit people, but I love taking that side of my game over to the offensive side of the ball. I'm definitely aggressive. I'm hitting someone on every play, even if I don't have the ball especially. I'm not the type of player that likes to run out of bounds. I also love blocking too. I know that may sound kind of weird for a wide receiver but I love getting [those] crack-back hits. Those are my favorite!"

As a wide receiver Lowe racked up some impressive numbers, and also got the chance from time to time to carry the ball.

"Last season I had 45 receptions for 800 yards," said Lowe. "I also had 24 carries for 200 yards as a fly-sweep guy. That was awesome and a lot of fun. It took me back to my glory running back days when I was younger. I guess I'm a little too small for running back these days. I also scored 16 touchdowns last year too."

On the defensive side of the ball Lowe has played cornerback, but the Jesuit High School coaches moved him this past season to take advantage of his aggressive style of play.

"This year I switched to safety to keep me more in the game," said Lowe. "I like to think I'm a good tackler and all that, but I had three interceptions this past year."

Lowe has scholarship offers from Washington, Stanford, Oregon State and BYU. Last weekend he paid a personal visit to Washington, the first school to offer him, and came away impressed.

"I loved it up there and had such a great time," Lowe said. "The coaches up there are nice and enthusiastic and just the type of guys I would like to be around. I really like the Husky program and where it's going. They have new coaches and really showed that they really wanted me up there. That's probably my top choice right now. They're probably leading the way right now."

One of the things that left the biggest impression on Lowe was the Husky coaching staff.

"At Washington, those guys seemed really young and enthusiastic," Lowe said, adding that he really enjoyed his time while up at Washington.

However, the other schools recruiting Lowe have some positive things to offer.

"Oregon State, I've been following them since I was young," said Lowe. "Mike Reilly is the nicest guy you'll ever meet. I really enjoyed my visit over there. Then Stanford, I don't really know much about Stanford. My mom loves Stanford, obviously, because she's a mom. She likes the academics side of Stanford. I would like to go down there pretty soon and hopefully visit them before the summer starts."

Meanwhile, Lowe has a personal connection to BYU.

"I've been down to BYU because my uncle Jaime Hill is the defensive coordinator down there," Lowe said. "So I've been over there and have been to one of their games. It's crazy and was sold out. I really like the atmosphere down there at BYU. I'm considering BYU definitely. I haven't done any research on them at all, but I had a great experience down there. I think their facilities are top of the line and their game atmosphere really stuck out. That was really nice."

Coach Hill has expressed that he not only wants his nephew to come play at BYU, but that he wants him to play defense as well.

"He definitely wants me on the defensive side of the ball," Lowe said with a slight laugh. "You know, because he's a defensive mind. He's always trying his best to get me over there. You know, I really liked it. I like how my cousins are over there and I never get to see them. It would be cool to see them every day and all that, but he definitely wants me to play defense."

While Uncle Hill would prefer to see his nephew on the defensive side of the ball, Lowe prefers to play on offense. But, Lowe feels his uncle wouldn't be too upset with him playing on offense as long as he wasn't playing on a team that was scoring touchdowns against his secondary.

"I'm sure he would be fine with me playing wide receiver," said Lowe with chuckle. "At least, I hope he wouldn't mind. I know he would always want me on the defensive side though."

Lowe's parents, meanwhile, like what BYU has to offer.

"They're excited about the school, not only about how good academically BYU is, but about how the football program is aside from things," Lowe said. "They also like how the program has risen up as a power in the country."

Jesuit High School, where Lowe plays, is a Catholic school founded by the Society of Jesus back in 1956. An Archbishop located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland set up the college-preparatory school based on Jesuit principles. Lowe feels there are similarities between his school and BYU.

"It's funny because [BYU is] kind of how where I'm at right now at Jesuit High School," said Lowe. "It's kind of the same school, except Jesuit is Catholic and they're LDS over there, and at Jesuit it's more about building the character and not just about the sport. It's about God first, obviously, then family and then sports."

Though Coach Hill may have some work to do in order to convince his nephew to come be a part of BYU's program, Lowe did say it would be a plus to attend a university that his uncle is a part of.

"I've known him my whole life," Lowe said of Coach Hill. "Although I haven't seen him that much, whenever they come over for Christmas or something it's like we never miss a beat. I've never really have the chance to see him because he was up in Canada coaching for a while, in California for a while, so it would be great to go practice with him every day. "

For the time being, Lowe just wants to make some more visits to campuses.

"I'm going to try and get down to Stanford and check things out for a bit," Lowe said. "I want to try and get down there soon, but I also want to go back out to BYU and check things out there more as well."

So what would happen if he chooses another school than the one his uncle currently coaches at?

"Oh yeah, he'll probably give me a hard time," laughed Lowe. "He would probably give me a tough time at family functions when I see him."

When evaluating the schools are recruiting him, Lowe has some specific criteria that he will be looking for.

"Academically, all of these schools are great academic-wise," Lowe said. "I mean, obviously Stanford is a step ahead, but I pretty much put all of them on the same level academically. The location of the school really doesn't matter to me, and the facilities don't really matter to me either. I don't really care about those material-type things like at Oregon with the Oregon Ducks. Basically, just the people there will be the most influential thing for me, just the coaches and how they are because they're going to be like my dad for the next four to five years of my life. When I take my visits I want to talk to the coaches when my family is not around or anything to see if they are putting on a show in front of my parents. I think it would good to talk to some of the players on the teams to see how they act - you know, if they cuss and all that - to see what type of people they are. I think that would be a good judge of how they are, and also by how much they want me at their school. I want to know what kind of people will be around and how they will influence me."

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