Tanner Rowell walked on to the Florida football team in the summer before last season as a graduate of Melbourne HS. . The son of Gator great offensive lineman Toney Rowell who played for the Gators some 27 years ago, Rowell is on a similar path as his father back then.
A two way player in high school, going at it on both sides of the line of scrimmage, the 6-foot-2 275 pound Rowell jumped on the defensive line when he first arrived on campus at Florida last August.
At the conclusion of the 2016 season in which he didn’t see the field, the coaching staff at Florida liked his aggression on defense, but thought he might be more suited to play on the offensive side of the ball.
This mirrors what happened to his father Tony Rowell, who went from playing defensive line to the offensive line in 1990, the first season under head coach Steve Spurrier at Florida. Tony Rowell would go on to have a couple of great years as a Gator and in April of 1992 was drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders.
It is still too early to see how this young man is going to do, but the attitude and work ethic are there to make this Gator legacy one to watch down the road.