Preparation Is the Key

Like a humble, yet talented youngster, David Rowe knows where to attribute success: his coaching staff and predecessors.

Rowe specifically admires Chris Hewitt, the cornerbacks coach, and the McCourty twins, especially Devin who has competed in the nickel packages.

"With the McCourtys and the safeties, I'm always asking questions," Rowe said. "I ask them or I ask Coach Hewitt. They've been a big help because Devin used to play nickel, so I mostly ask him about the nickel. He helped me out a lot."

Of the 27 true freshmen on roster, including any late season changes, Rowe has already played all 12 games, mainly in defensive schemes utilizing five defensive backs. When asked about playing in his first bowl game, Rowe seemed calm, cool and collected.

"Not really. I mean I had the first butterflies in the first few games," said Rowe who has 21 tackles, two tackles for a loss and two sacks thus far. "Since we've been preparing really well, that's what gets rid of the butterflies for me. As long as I'm prepared for the game, I think I'll be alright."

Although transitioning from the high school level to D-I can be stressful for many players, Rowe has managed thus far, thanks to the leaders of the program for their support.

"It's a hard transition but I give the credit to my strengthening and conditioning coaches because experience and building your body up enable you to jump to the next level," he said.

This season has been a learning experience for the Cocoa, Fla. Native who helped overcome a 1-5 start to finish 7-5.

"In the beginning of the season I was probably worried but then we developed this concept of one-game seasons," Rowe said. "And as soon as we started looking at games as a one-game season, that really helped us out with our record and win the six straight."

After Monday's practice Rowe continued to stay humble.

"Repetitions-- You know we've worked hard during our off time, working hard and watching film every day," he said. "That gets us prepared."

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