A 6-4, 305-pound prospect, Rowell told BuckeyeSports.com back in September that he had a deal with the OSU coaching staff: cut his weight to near 300 pounds – he weighed 375 pounds as a junior – and a scholarship offer would be waiting for him.
Two months ago, that offer finally arrived and Rowell did something surprising.
"I knew I had an offer two months ago," he told BuckeyeSports.com. "Probably longer than that. That's when I sat down with (head) coach (Ted) Ginn (Sr.) and we talked about it. I just wanted to wait out and just relax. I wasn't in a rush to commit anywhere, but I knew what school I wanted to go to all along. It wasn't a tough decision at all."
Rowell said he got the offer not just because he cut his weight down, but also because the Buckeyes simply wanted him as a player. OSU plans on using him as a defensive tackle. As a senior, he played on both the offensive and defensive lines.
Although he has shed a significant amount of weight, Ginn Sr. said Rowell has benefited from his new frame.
"He was more explosive," Ginn said. "He's a big guy, but he's like an athlete. It helped him a lot."
When asked how his size helps him be productive, Rowell said: "Just being there, my presence on the field. I feel like I could bring something to the table just like any other player could. My size helps me to be more powerful. Also, I'm big so it's hard for somebody to move me because I'm quick on my feet."
All of the Cleveland school system knew about his decision, Rowell said, as did several Glenville players already at OSU.
Ginn praised the hard work the three-star prospect put in toward meeting the goal.
"He was committed to cutting his weight down and he did so, so that shows his commitment to being a student athlete and wanting to be committed to going to college," Ginn said. "That's a rough task, to lose that much weight. He was committed to do it, and he did it."
Rowell said he is simply grateful for this opportunity in his life.
"It just feels great," he said. "It's another opportunity in my life. There's many more to go. It's just a part of my journey that I'm going on. I'm just really enjoying it. You just keep trying to complete goals as you get older."