Changing to a new school is always tough for students. It's extremely tough though to switch prior to your senior season and that's exactly what 2012 cornerback Josh Rowland did this summer. Already a star at Greer High on the AAA level Rowland transferred to AAAA Wren High and has made a nice transition. We caught up with the multi-talented prospect to talk about his transfer, his recruitment, and outlook for his senior season.
"It's (the transfer) been an experience for sure. To leave my comfort zone of knowing everyone and knowing the Greer system to knowing no one was scary at first. Wren though has welcomed me with open arms, both players and coaches! I really feel the transfer will help me adapt to college easier by having to learn a new system and leaving the comfort of "home". I am very impressed with coach Tate. I really believe in him and will do anything for him!"
Looking back on last year at Greer Rowland was in a competitive region last year and he's moving up to another tough one in AAAA with Wren.
"I faced a lot of great players in Region 3-AAA. It would be hard to name one player that was the toughest I faced. I do feel due to the Greenville High offense and their overall talent last year on the offensive side of the ball that the Greenville receivers were the best overall as far as competitiveness goes."
The majority of the schools currently in the mix are recruiting Rowland as a cornerback but he'll be all over the field for the Hurricanes this season.
"Most schools are recruiting me as a defensive back for sure. At Greer that was the main position. Had I stayed at Greer they were going to play me at wide receiver and defensive back. At Wren I will be free safety so I feel on the defensive side of the ball I will have great experience. I just found out this week that coach Tate plans to get me some practice at wide receiver. I'm also on the kickoff return team too."
Our goals at Wren are to win a region title, the upper state title, and then a state title. I feel Wren has the coaches and players to do that. You need though the ball to roll your way no matter how good you are. One of my main personal goals is to gain weight. I want to also show everyone what a versatile player I am. While I feel I'm strong at cornerback I also feel I can contribute as a wide receiver and as a returner. I always pride myself in that I always give 100 percent no matter what the score."
Rowland's accomplishments and athleticism on the field have already seen a number of schools start recruiting him. He talked at length about the schools he's heard from and camped with over the summer.
"Tennessee and Penn State are the FBS schools I've heard from. I've gotten a lot of interest from Furman and other Southern Conference schools too along with Big South schools. Coach has gotten calls from some other coaches too. I have not asked him who yet though. Appalachian State is getting into the picture too!"
So far Rowland says Tennessee has recruited him the hardest. In fact, he says that he stays in contact with his recruiter, coach Joseph, on a regular basis.
"I visited Tennessee this summer. I really like coach Joseph and the whole Tennessee atmosphere! Furman was good too and the coaches really seem to care about you. Charleston Southern was the biggest surprise for me and the coaches are excellent coaches. I like the idea of it being a private school and they play the big boys!"
Right now Rowland says he will cease visiting schools and give his Wren team 100 percent during the season.
"The team deserves that from me. I was told recently by a college coach that you will only be a senior one time, to enjoy it. So that is what I plan to do."
Rowland made no bones about what he'll be taking into heavy consideration when looking at potential colleges.
"The most important thing to me about a school is the reputation of the school and the coaches. Do the school and coaches do what they say? I want to feel wanted and I need to feel like I'm at home and comfortable. I need to know that the school has my back."
Rowland reports a 3.60 core GPA and a 3.75 overall GPA. He says he scored a 1290 on the SAT on his first attempt.
SCPrepNation.com will have more updates with Josh Rowland as the season is getting underway so keep it tuned in right here!
NOTE: Rowland played in his first game with Wren on Friday and he had a solid showing. "It was great. I had 5 tackles, 3 assists, and a big hit. We won 42-0 against Palmetto."
INSIDE THE NUMBERS...JOSH ROWLAND
Bench press: 215 pounds
Squat: 400 pounds
Power clean: 250 pounds
Fastest 40: 4.46 seconds
Pro shuttle: 4.26 seconds