Rowley Always a Cougar

For Graham Rowley the decision to commit to BYU in mid-April was a relatively easy one, as BYU was the only place he ever wanted to be when growing up. After an unofficial visit taken during spring practices, Rowley confirmed to himself the desire he's always felt to join the Cougar football program.

"BYU really is the place I always wanted to play growing up," related Graham Rowley. "I love BYU, I always have, and after the visit there it seemed right to commit after thinking about everything for a bit."

Graham Rowley is a 6-foot-4-inch, 270-pound defensive line recruit from Waialua, Hawaii. Rowley has already made a big splash on the recruiting scene, having been offered by the likes of Hawaii, Washington, Stanford, Colorado and SMU in addition to receiving interest from just about every Pac-10 school out there.

Despite the attention, Rowley decided to commit early to BYU. He informed Cougar coach Bronco Mendenhall Wednesday night of his decision.

"He was really excited and happy for me," said Rowley of Mendenhall's reaction upon hearing the news of his commit. "I got to know him a lot during my trip there and he's a great coach. I really like all the coaches at BYU."

As is the norm, Mendenhall had previously spoken to Rowley about his future and of his concern for him on a personal and spiritual level. This conversation with Mendenhall impressed Rowley a lot and sort of greased the skids in regards to his commit.

"BYU was everything I thought it would be pretty much on my trip there," said Rowley. "I got to know the coaches better, which was probably the thing I learned most, but it's difficult to point out anything really new. I already knew a lot and I knew that I'd probably commit there, but the trip just helped confirm that."

Rowley is LDS and has definite plans to serve a mission after playing a year. He will likely leave for his mission in early January, which is the optimal time for any football player to leave.

Being that he is LDS and has definite mission plans, Rowley was obviously impressed with the unique aspects of BYU's football team that sets it apart from other programs.

"I really like how they start every meeting with a prayer," related Rowley. "I love the Thursday Hero thing they do as a team. I just like the spirit that the team has with them and how they do things. I'm LDS, so I felt right at home there."

Rowley was also able to meet with some current players on the roster from his home state of Hawaii, namely Travis Uale, while getting to know his future position coach Steve Kaufusi.

"He's a soft-spoken guy and really great to talk to," said Rowley about Coach Kaufusi. "You can tell he's a good coach who really cares about his players."

Rowley is pegged to play defensive line, although he could certainly make an impact on the offensive front if the need arises. Rowley's commit is a welcome one due to the lack of any defensive tackle commits this past recruiting class, leaving plenty of room for young talent such as himself.

Rowley fits the bill as the type of national defensive tackle recruit that the Cougar coaching staff needed to commit for the 2010 class. He will most likely play nose tackle, though he could certainly play at defensive end.

"I don't really care where they have me play, I just want to help where they feel I can help most," said Rowley regarding his future position. "They haven't talked at all about me playing offense, so I'll play either defensive tackle or end. Wherever they need me most is what I'm good with."

For Rowley, BYU offers anything and everything he'd ever hope for in a football program. When asked about one particular thing above all others that led him to commit to BYU, he struggled with the response.

"It's really hard to point out just one thing that BYU has that made me want to commit to them and play for them," explained Rowley. "They just have everything. I've always wanted to play for BYU and it's because they just have everything I could ever want as a person and as a football player."


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