There’s a line between confidence and cockiness called swagger. That’s the line that Erick Fowler walks. The Manor (Tex.) LB has swagger for days, and it doesn’t take viewing his junior film very long to see why.
“You can always do better, but I had 66 tackles or something like that and 12 sacks while everybody was running away from me and scheming against me,” Fowler said confidently.
The 6-1, 233-pounder lived in the opposition’s backfield on a game by game basis, so the “go the other way” strategy was pretty smart coaching. Still Fowler knew teams could only do that for so long.
“You’re going to have to eventually run this way and suffer the consequences,” he said boldly.
Coaches salivate over having that type of presence on their teams, which explains why Fowler’s scholarship tally is fast approaching 20. Though still early in his recruitment, there are a few programs that currently stick out.
“I’m still pretty open minded on my decision,” insisted Fowler. “I’m not rushing anything to make my decision right now. There are a couple of them (standing out early), LSU, Texas of course, Baylor, Michigan of course, UCLA, and Alabama.”
As has been the case with numerous other prospects over the past few months, Michigan entered the fray rather abruptly.
“(The offer) really came out of the blue,” said Fowler. “My coach called me out of class and said he had a little surprise for me. I hadn’t heard from Michigan that much before that. I really didn’t know much about Michigan, but then I got a chance to talk to Coach Mattison and he told me what I’m missing out on.”
Mattison also told the youngster about having coached former NFL All-Pro Ray Lewis. That definitely scored points with Fowler.
“I’m a Ravens fan myself,” he said. “Always have been. (It’s a team) I just picked it up.”
While that’s a nice feather in the Wolverines’ cap, it is going to take a great deal more to earn the four-star prospect’s pledge.
“The first thing is schooling,” Fowler said describing the factors in his decision. “I want to major in either engineering or architecture, so the schooling has got to be top notch. As far as football, I’m just looking for family based things with the coaches. Can I call them up if I need something? And I want to be surrounded by the best when I’m playing. I’m a sore loser. I don’t like to lose. When I lose, there is going to be hell.”
So far Fowler has developed a particularly strong rapport with the coaching staffs at Baylor and Texas, but Mattison has the Wolverines on the road to making up ground.
“Coach Mattison seemed like a pretty straight forward dude,” Fowler stated. “He’s going to get to the point. That’s what I also like. I don’t like coaches that sugarcoat things to me. I like to get straight to the point and tell me how it is.
“I’m trying to get down there (to Michigan), but it is hard. I don’t know (when it will happen) yet. I’m still planning. I don’t think it is going to be spring, but if it is not summer, then I’m going to have to take an official.”
Taking all five officials is virtual certainty. Fowler plans for his process to go all the way to signing day.
“I don’t want to rush anything,” he said. “The school that I sign with will fit me no matter what.”