TIREY: Stowers is just begging for a chance

Jordan Nevels was the pride of Ft. Thomas Highlands High School in northern Kentucky this past football season. He signed a letter of intent to play for the Kentucky Wildcats on scholarship, and was named a Kentucky all-star. But in that all-star game against Tennessee's all-stars, he was almost outshined by a Highlands teammate, whom he had overshadowed all year. His name is Mike Stowers.

Stowers is a 6'3", 200 pound safety, and he wowed those in attendance at the all-star game this summer in Louisville.

Stowers had stats in that game that you would expect from a kid with a few scholarship offers and a spot on the state all-star team. He had four tackles, two of those for loss, and a couple of pass breakups, one almost an interception. But that just isn't the case. The scholarship offers did not roll in this past season. As a matter of fact, Stowers did not receive one scholarship offer. Not one. Stowers admits that his grades are not the stuff of legends, but he definitely is in a position to work on them. "I am a little surprised," said Stowers. "But I am not worried. I know if I work hard, it will come in the end. If you work hard, everything in life pays off."

Stowers and Nevels are very close. "We played pee wee football against each other," said Stowers, "since we were like in the third grade. We just kind of know each other very well. We know how each other reacts to certain situations." And the safety would love to play with Nevels for another four years, even if it means walking on somewhere to do it. Stowers credits the defensive line for helping him shine in the all-star contest, but said he came into the game needing to prove a little something. "I just felt like no one respected me at all and didn't think I deserved to be on an all-star team. I have to prove to everybody out there that I was real player, and I had to work hard to get there."

The pedigree is there for Stowers. He has the speed. He ran track at Highlands and has been timed at 4.55 in the forty. His relay team placed second in the state meet. He was the third leg of that team. His strength numbers are equally impressive. "I was squatting 405 pounds, but I hurt my back doing it my junior year, and I haven't did it since. My back is fine, I am just a little bit scared of the weight now."

What does Stowers plan to do? Well, his options are limited. He may try to find a place to go and work on his academics for a semester. Then he could transfer to a program in the spring and take part in spring practice. He could also walk-on to a program. Louisville has peaked his interest, as well as Kentucky. Nevels is at UK, while he has some ties to U of L. "I know a few players that played there and my cousin played there back in 2000 as a receiver. I like their program a lot, and they seem to have rebuilt nicely." So what would he say to the coaches at either program? "I would just ask them to give me a shot, and I will work as hard as I can to prove to them that I am good enough to have a scholarship. I am a hungry player and I am out of options. I love football, and I am willing to dedicate my whole life to it right now."

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