"I played at 370 pounds last year," Rowell admitted. "That was way too heavy and I know it. I'm at 325 right now and I want to play at 295 pounds this season. I'm watching what I eat very carefully and I'm determined to lose more weight. I will too."
Rowell talked about the transfer to Glenville and how it changed him as a person.
"Coming to Glenville was a reality check for me," he said. "I thought I was a great player and would be able to just slide by on my talent. I got out of shape and I hurt myself and my team. I think I've grown up a lot in the past year and I have to thank Ted Ginn Sr. for that. He's been like a father figure to me. He taught me how to be a man fist and a football player second."
Although he's one of the top defensive tackles in the state, Rowell only played on the offensive line last season. Where does he see himself playing this year?
"Last year my team needed me to play on offense and I did," Rowell noted. "I've learned to be a team player here at Glenville and that's what I was called on to do. This year I plan on playing both ways. That's my goal. That will help my team win and prove to people that I'm in shape. I want to do anything I can to help us win the state championship."
Rowell has scholarship offers from Miami of Ohio and Illinois. As he continues to get in better shape physically and keeps his grades in the 3.0 range, there should be more offers on the horizon. Ohio State has stayed in close contact with the big guy and Rowell admits they are high on his list.
"Hopefully they will think I'm good enough to offer," Rowell said expectantly. "Once they see me this year on the field everything should be alright with Ohio State. I'll be at their camp with the Ginn bus tour. Coach [Taver] Johnson has been to my school already. So has coach [Hazell]. They know I'm a big fan of Ohio State and they know how bad I want that offer. Coach Johnson will text me and I'll call him pretty often. He tells me to just keep working hard and good things will happen. I think I have enough talent to play there. At the All-American camp in San Antonio I battled with Mike Adams and did pretty well for myself. I did well against some other highly rated players too."
Shaq Rowell is a player that's impossible to not root for, both in football and in life. He believes that his battle with his weight is making him a stronger person and it's hard not to agree with him. As he continues to get smaller as a person, he will only grow on the inside as a human being.