Cougar Football or Cali hardcourt?

NOTABLY ABSENT FROM the state of Washington signing day lists this past February was Longview's Luke Fowler, two time all-state wide receiver out of R.A. Long High. Decision time is looming for the player who has been compared by the media to All-American Mike Hass. Will he walk-on to Washington State, or will he ply his wares on a college hardcourt in California?

"If I'm playing football, I will be going to Wazzu and walking on," said Fowler. "I'm still talking to some small colleges for basketball and (an offer) is yet to be decided."

Fowler's first love is football. But if he receives any college scholarship offers, they look to come for basketball. He's talking with Point Loma Nazarene in San Diego, San Diego Christian College and has heard a little from Seattle U.

"With Wazzu, it's been great," said Fowler. "I've talked to Levenseller many times, he's come to my school. We're all set if I decide to do that."

Fowler said he should have a decision by the end of April on whether it will be the pigskin or roundball. But given how he dominated this past year and over his prep career, why no offers? In a nutshell, the measurables.

R.A. LONG COACH Steve Rooklidge said if Fowler plays in the right system that utilizes his pass-catching talents, he's likely to make an impact. Rooklidge has coached a few players who have gone on to play D-1 ball and says Fowler is at the top of the list, but notes Fowler's size (6-2, 185) and speed (4.68) worked against him as far as scholarship offers were concerned.

"He catches the ball better than anyone I've ever seen, honestly," said Rooklidge. "But he's a tweener. He isn't that 6-5 guy...and he isn't that 4.3 guy. And those kids are out there."

Fowler's productivity, however, measured up with most anyone.

THE SCRIPT THIS past football season was repeated week after week. Fowler just doesn't look that dominant physically, nor does he look ultra-fast on film. Despite what he did as a junior, opposing coaches didn't seem overly concerned about stopping him. Not at first, anyway. Because then Fowler would simply go out and torch their secondaries.

"He makes catches I have not seen at the high school level," said Rooklidge. "One handed catches, diving catches, jumping over three guys -- he's just unbelievable. And this was on a team that wasn't a real good team this year. He was really the (main) guy and people still couldn't stop him."

Fowler caught 73 passes in 2005, racking up 1,310 yards and a school-record 11 TDs, breaking the TD mark set by his father Kyle in 1980. The younger Fowler was named all-state by the Seattle Times, Tacoma News Tribune and Associated Press. The AP also selected him all-state as a junior.

FOWLER SAID THE bottom line is if there's a scholarship offer to play basketball, it would be pretty hard to turn that down. If not, Rooklidge said the Cougars will end up with a very nice catch indeed.

"This is a guy that's going to be at every weight workout, you don't have to watch over him, he's going to know every single play in the playbook," said Rooklidge. "He's a 4.0 student. This is a kid who's character is impeccable. He's just going to be a great kid to have in a program. And that's another reason why I think he'll make it."

Luke Fowler profile

NOTES:
As a senior guard, Fowler averaged 15.6 ppg and 4.5 boards during the regular season, helping to lead the Lumberjacks to the state tournament.


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