A 6-4 three-star prospect from Cleveland Glenville, Rowell is yet another Tarblooder from Cleveland Glenville being targeted by the Ohio State coaching staff. But unlike most other prospects, Rowell gaining an offer from the Buckeyes is contingent on a big goal.
He has to drop some weight.
"I've never really told anybody, but they told me to be 290 to 300 pounds and my scholarship would be there," Rowell told BuckeyeSports.com. "I guess I've already got it in my head."
Last season, Rowell was tipping the scales last season at 370 pounds. With the potential Buckeye offer put out there, the player dubbed "Shaq" has been putting forth the effort to get down to the team's targeted weight for him.
According to Glenville head coach Ted Ginn Sr., Rowell is down to 330. According to Rowell, that figure is even lower: 310 pounds.
Dropping the weight is not an easy thing for Rowell, Ginn said.
"I think he does a good job trying," Ginn said. "I just think his genetics make it tough."
Rowell said he is in contact with the OSU coaching staff once a week. His contacts with the Buckeyes are cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson and defensive coordinator Jim Heacock. He also speaks occasionally with Dublin (Ohio) Coffman offensive lineman Mike Adams, a verbal member of OSU's class of 2008, he said.
The Buckeyes are not alone in their interest for Rowell, who listed Penn State, Indiana, Illinois, Marshall, North Carolina and Wisconsin as other schools in contact with him. He holds four offers to this point: Marshall, North Carolina, Illinois and Indiana.
The interest the Buckeyes show in him, however, is different.
"They're just always making sure my grades are right," he said. "They never talk about football. They always start off by asking if my grades are right and then if I'm plugging the ‘A' gaps on defense.
"Some schools just want me to come down there and play and they never ask me about my grades, but Ohio State always does. They're pretty much different than every other school that I talk to."
Rowell plays in the trenches on both sides of the ball for the Tarblooders, but the OSU coaches are targeting him to line up at defensive tackle.
According to him, though, the coaching staff is growing less and less concerned with his weight.
"They're not really worried about the weight anymore because they know I'm working at it," he said. "They just tell me to keep working."
It would seem that an OSU offer might abruptly end the recruiting process for Rowell, then – a sentiment he neither confirmed nor denied.
"I'm not going to say anything about that right now," he said with a smile. "It's a surprise for everybody."