Rowland Visiting the Bay This Weekend

Peoria (AZ) Centennial offensive tackle Nick Rowland picked up his latest offer on Wednesday. This weekend he will visit California for the Golden Bears' junior day. Cal is one of the many Pac-10 offers he currently holds. Cal Sports Digest caught up with Rowland on Wednesday to talk about his recruitment and his interest in the Bears…

Nick Rowland (6-4.5, 296) is no stranger to the Pac-10 conference. Both his parents are Arizona State alums, and he grew up a Sun Devil fan. Furthermore, as a rising senior, the all-state standout has five official offers from Pac-10 schools. Nonetheless, if he chooses a Pac-10 school other than ASU, he says he has no problem knocking heads against his childhood favorite.

One such Pac-10 school Rowland is taking a closer look at is California. The Golden Bears were the fourth school to offer Rowland following ASU, Stanford, and Colorado State. Since, Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon, which offered on Wednesday, have thrown their hat into the ring.

"What I know about Cal is they are the No. 1 public university in the country," said Rowland. "[On the field], they are consistently a real good team. They are widely considered the second best team in the Pac-10. I saw one of their games in person; they have a real solid offensive line. They had a great offensive line coach but he is no longer there, but I remember watching the offensive line of the [Cleveland] Browns because that's the guy they pulled in. The Browns offensive line was real good this year, considering it was their first year playing together."

Rowland is referring to Cal's new offensive line coach Steve Marshall, who came from the Browns. Based on some of his early offers, Marshall is looking at bigger linemen. However, Cal is the only school recruiting Rowland as a tackle. The rest of his suitors are recruiting the near 300-pounder to play inside at guard.

"I am comfortable playing either [left or right tackle]," said Rowland. "I'm right-handed, but I play left a lot right now."

Before he takes in Cal's junior day, he has an unofficial visit set with Stanford on Friday. "Stanford is getting good lately especially with Coach [Jim] Harbaugh. They had a real good recruiting class."

Rowland is anxious to check out both schools in the Bay Area. "They are going to show me and teach me a lot about the school," he added about junior day activities planned for Cal. "We are going to watch the [Cal-UCLA] basketball game."

He says he has no early list of top schools, but he is looking for a school with strong academics and a solid football program. Distance will not be a factor, but staying close to home is appealing.

"[Staying out West] would be comfortable for me, but I am open to anybody," said Rowland. "California is a great location. I have a lot of family in southern Oregon. I can be close to them but not too far away from my family in Arizona. It's too early to have favorites. I am still kind of learning about all the schools that are interested in me."

His mailbox is constantly full of mail from colleges, and a few are starting to show more interest of late. "Notre Dame has been contacting me quite a bit," Rowland added. "UCLA is contacting me. USC has inquired about me through my coaches, but I have only received some letters from them, no contact yet. But I receive mail from just about every school in the country."

He is very familiar with the in-state schools. But says his family is not pressuring him to assume their role and choose Tempe. "ASU had an off year, but they are still are a young team," said Rowland. "U of A had a much better year this year than they had in previous seasons. And I know they are looking to continue that."

"Both my parents realize [choosing a college] is my decision," said Rowland. "They are trying to stay out of it as much as they can because they want me to be happy wherever I go."

He reports a 3.7 GPA. He scored a 1780 on his SAT. As far as a major, he says he has narrowed it down to, "Criminal Justice or Business Marketing."

Stay with and Cal Sports Digest for continuing coverage of Nick Rowland's recruitment.

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