BYU Tops the List for Hawaiian Recruit

The Cougar coaches have combed over the Hawaiian Islands and found a talented LDS prospect at Waialua High School with the ability to play on both the offensive and defensive line. Total Blue Sports caught up with the big lineman for his thoughts on BYU.

Currently, Graham Rowley has five scholarship offers with more to possibly come in the near future. BYU, Hawaii, SMU, Stanford and Washington have all extended a full-ride scholarship offer to one of Hawaii's more talented linemen, and he is being recruited by Arizona State and UCLA as well. However, one of those schools stands out the most to him for personal reasons.

"I really like BYU and how they do things over there," Rowley said. "I like how they open their meetings with a prayer. I just really like how the program is ran and what it stands for. I've always wanted to come to BYU. I was always waiting for BYU to offer me."

So is BYU Rowley's top school?

"Yeah," he said. "When I got the offer I was really excited and humbled."

Graham, who is LDS and plans on serving a mission, was on BYU's campus last Thursday to watch a practice full of high energy and excitement.

"I like what this program stands for, and being LDS I've always liked the school and the football team," Rowley said. "It was a really good practice that they had. Everything was faster and higher paced than in high school and I thought it was really good. I think I have to get faster and stronger."

Seeing the Cougars practice firsthand has motivated the Hawaiian lineman, but at the current moment his strength stats aren't too shabby.

"Right now I bench 350 pounds," said Rowley. "I squat 450 right now and I'm 6'4", 270 pounds. I play on the offensive line and at defensive end. This year I'm also going to play some tight end and fullback as well."

Rowley was also on hand to see how the program gives back to the community with the Thursday's Heroes program instituted by Coach Mendenhall.

"Everybody here has the same standards as I do, so everyone on my team wont be partying and doing things that I won't want to be a part of," said Rowley. "I'm also LDS and I plan on serving a mission."

Rowley said he isn't sure if he is going to take some trips first prior to committing to a school of his choice, or if he'll just go ahead and commit and get it over with.

While he is thinking about how he is going to handle the recruiting process, there are a few things Rowley wants in a college experience. According to Rowley, those things will come into play when he makes his final decision.

"The type of character the coaches have and the type of people I'll be around [are important]," said Rowley. "Coach Mendenhall is a really good person and a spiritual guy. I was talking to him and I would love to have him as my football coach. I also liked the people over at [BYU]. Basically just the environment and what it's like will be big for me. I also like the cold because over in Hawaii it's always hot."

Recruiting Rowley is BYU defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi. While visiting BYU, Rowley was able to watch Coach Kaufusi at work with his defensive linemen and came away impressed.

"Coach Kaufusi is the one recruiting me and I really like him," said Rowley. "He's a really good person as a really good coach. I like his style. I was able to see how he coaches and liked what I saw."

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