A Real Gem

Rice may have landed the strongest player in the state with its latest pickup. More on Alex Lowry's incredible strength inside this Owl Digest feature update...

Rice held its first "Night of the Iron Owl" this past March and if Alex Lowry had been able to participate he would have won the Squat Lift, and finished in the top 3 in the Bench Press and Power Clean. Lowry just may be the strongest football player in the state of Texas this year.

And he's only 16.

Obviously Lowry knows his way around a weightroom. He finished 2nd in the state in Powerlifting in his weight class this year, losing by 5 pounds only after attempting a personal best in the Bench Press. Lowry's 3 lift total is 1840 - and he intends to break the state record of 2005 pounds before heading off to Rice next year to play football.

Lowry's current bests are as follows:

Bench Press: 450 pounds

Squat Lift: 780 pounds

Dead Lift: 650 pounds

Power Clean: 355 pounds

Amazingly Lowry has only been lifting for about 3 years.

"I was home schooled until the 9th grade. I had never lifted weights or played football until then. When I started I could only Bench about 180 pounds, my squat was about 250. I just got in the weight room and went to work and I've been getting stronger ever since."

Lowry and a few of his Caddo Mills teammates recently competed in a football lineman challenge in Garland back in May. They were the only 2A team entered in the event that included "World's Strongest Man" type events such as the tug-of-war, farmer's walk, atlas stones, tire flip, 205 bench press reps, and a truck push. Behind a strong (literally) performance from Lowry, they won.

Alex started playing football in the 9th grade after being home schooled up to that point. Success has come quickly on the field and he obviously has a lot of natural ability. In only his second season of football he was named District 12-2A "Newcomer of the Year", in 2006. That distinction came while playing Linebacker as a Sophomore. He's gotten much bigger since then and has been improving by quantum leaps almost as much on the field as in the weight room. Last year he was All District 12-2A on both sides of the line of scrimmage: as an Offensive Guard and as Defensive Tackle. He also added APSE 2nd Team All-State honors as an Offensive Guard, and the Texas Sports Writers Association gave him All State Honorable Mention, listing him as an Offensive Tackle.

I asked Alex about his commitment today and he had the following to say.

"Rice just seems like the perfect opportunity for me. I haven't really been interested too much in the recruiting process, I just wanted to find the right opportunity for academics and football and I think I found it with Rice."

"The coaches were real friendly at (Rice)camp and I could tell they really care about their players. I got to meet the whole staff and I really liked them. He (Coach Bailiff) was real excited when I called him to tell him I was committing. Coach Bailiff told me they were making room for me because they liked me so much."

Asked what he liked about football and not surprisingly he said, "I just like to be physical and have fun battling my opponent." I feel sorry for the linemen that have to face him. Lowry's warrior mentality and physical strength will certainly be welcomed in the trenches by Owl coaches.

While Alex hasn't gone entirely unnoticed by other colleges, Kansas State has been in contact with him, Rice was the first to offer a scholarship to this "diamond in the rough" noting his enormous potential.

"I was pretty excited when I found out Rice was offering me a full ride scholarship. It's an incredible opportunity for a great education and to play football with an up and coming program."

"After I got the offer I talked it over with my family and a few other people and decided to call and commit a couple hours later."

He plans to visit the Rice campus on an unofficial visit in 2 weeks.

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