Film Analysis: Jalston Fowler

Jalston Fowler, running back from Vigor High School in Prichard, Ala., had an impressive season in 2008. He had 139 carries for 1,085 yards and 15 touchdowns during his team's 5A championship season. He caught 27 passes for 391 yards and scored once. Fowler scored three touchdowns and rushed for 169 yards in the championship game against Russellville.

Jalston Fowler
Pritchard, Alabama
Vigor High School
6-0, 245 lbs.

Jalston Fowler's emergence into Vigor High School's backfield in 2008 caused a lot of talk within the ranks of high school coaching circuits. The junior powerhouse back was impressive as a defensive end in 2007, but not many outside of Prichard would anticipate what an impact he would make in 5A this past season.

Fowler came into his own for the AHSAA 5A State Champion Vigor Wolves by demonstrating a knack for abusing defenders on a consistent basis. Fowler utilized a deadly combination of size, strength, explosiveness, and speed to terrorize defenses in 2008.

Let's take a look at what tools got Fowler his scholarship offer to the University of Alabama.

Fowler has been clocked in the 4.6 range in the 40-yard dash, and considering he's carrying 245 pounds, this is a great indicator of Fowler's running style, brutal.

Vigor coaches report Fowler holding a 415 pound bench press, which is on an elite level for his weight and position. He squats more than 500 pounds and reportedly can dunk a basketball flat footed. Furthermore, Fowler can do a standing back flip, with no hands, which is just another indicator of his pure athleticism.

Physically, Fowler will make a tremendous impression on any future strength and conditioning coach. Not many backs who can boast these kinds of measurables on the high school level, especially as a running back.

Film Analysis
Fowler is a downhill power back who has a very low center of gravity. He's a weight room warrior, and his strength is apparent on the field of play. He does a really good job receiving the toss/hand off and getting up field in a hurry. He has a quick first step, which allows him to accelerate accordingly.

One of his best assets on film is his ability to steadily pump and churn his feet while dragging would-be tacklers along the field of play. He not only has a quick first step, which will pay dividends on both sides of the football, but he possesses legitimate breakaway speed. Fowler's speed is very deceptive on film, but he manages to separate from defensive skill players with relative ease in late-game situations.

Fowler is very good at lowering his head and becoming a human battering ram in short yardage situations. Even if Fowler arrives on campus next year as a linebacker, this is one reason he is special in that category. He can out physical multiple defenders, and this will transpire on both sides of the football.

On second and long, he can make third downs very manageable because of his knack for grinding out extra yards by keeping his feet moving and utilizing the low center of gravity which was referred to earlier.

It is very apparent that Fowler is a "contact-oriented" football player. He understands very well how to utilize his weight, feet, vision, and explosiveness while running the football. This can transpire as a very sound linebacker if coaching staffs take that particular route with him.

The majority of Fowler's rushes come after contact, normally breaking a few tackles on his way to positive yardage. The film clearly shows he is in great shape and manages to wear down defenses throughout the course of a football game.

Odds and Ends
Fowler will turn 19 in July, which makes him ineligible to play football for Vigor in 2009. However, he has been asked to coach running backs while he finishes up the electives necessary for graduating. It appears he is a December graduate, which means he could quite possibly join the Alabama football team in the spring of 2010.

Many coaches have raved about Fowler's character and class. He shows tremendous discipline in late game situations. Fowler shined late in Vigor's semifinal matchup against Carver Montgomery. He shows tremendous composure and an ability to finish plays.

Many project Fowler as a linebacker when he reaches the next level. His film, vitals, and background clearly show he has ample opportunity as a very successful college football player on either side of the football.

With his quickness and physicality, Fowler could become a beast on the next level. Add to that another year in the weight room, and you have a combination that will make Fowler a highly anticipated recruit for Alabama fans to talk about for the next year.

Watch 2008 season highlights of Jalston Fowler.

Will Matthews coaches football at the high school level and has extensive experience working college camps and combines across the region. He has worked under the tutelage of many elite college coaches learning the many techniques of evaluating high school prospects.

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