Bower leads the Gade attack

Bakersfield just beat then number one El Camino last weekend and now they're the top ranked JC program in the country according to J.C. Grid-Wire. QB Jacob Bower (6-4, 235) is the leader of the powerful Renegade offense and he spoke recently with about his long road to playing JC ball and where things stand on the recruiting front.

"That game was pretty crazy," Bower told earlier this week. "They are so talented, but we have great players too and we made the plays when we needed to and it was pretty exciting."

Bower ended up completing 21 of 37 for 335 yards and four touchdowns against the Warriors and, the week before, in a win over Reedley he threw for 436 yards and three touchdowns.

While he's great at throwing the ball, he's also an excellent runner as well.

"Out of high school I had a lot of offers for football and for basketball," Bower said. "A lot of schools said they liked my athleticism and movement and that I could play either sport and be successful.

"I'm a passer first, but when things break down I can run and hurt teams with my legs as well."

As a senior at Meridian High School in Idaho Bower got offers from Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, Arizona State, California, Utah and BYU among others and chose the Cougars because of then head coach Gary Crowton.

"I chose (BYU) because of my relationship with coach Crowton and I really liked how he used his quarterbacks as athletes," Bower said. "I went on my LDS mission though and when I came back he had been let go and they had a whole new staff in there.

"Things just didn't work out there because they had brought in their own quarterback recruits so when I was there it just didn't fit. My dad played there so I gave it a chance, but it just wasn't a good fit for me so I left."

After a couple months of looking around, Bower got advice from Crowton and Norm Chow on where he should head to re-establish himself as a top quarterback prospect.

"I'm close with both of them and they said I needed to come down to southern California to play because the best talent is down here for JC ball," Bower recalled. "So it was basically between Bakersfield and Saddleback and I chose Bakersfield because of the staff here and my comfort level."

Bower's physical stats – he runs a 4.7 forty, has a 33-inch vertical and he put up 225 pounds 19 times – have attracted schools across the country and, while he doesn't have any offers yet, some could be coming pretty soon.

"Wisconsin is really interested in me," Bower noted. "I went on a quick trip there in June and really enjoyed it up there. Coach (Paul) Chryst recruited me out of high school and I get along with him really well and they have a great program up there. Plus, it's where I took my mission so I'm pretty familiar with things up there.

"Fresno State, Oregon and Cal are the other schools that have been pretty interested in me and a school like LSU, because coach Crowton is there, is a school I am really interested in and (Crowton) said they'll be watching me this fall because they want to see if I have come back and am the player he remembers.

"Boise State is another school I wouldn't mind hearing from and if something develops there that would really be great."

Bower said he's been through this before so he's prepared to be patient for things to happen and said he's in no rush to make a decision.

Because he redshirted at BYU, Bower will have three years to play three following the season and he'll be able to leave Bakersfield in December.

We'll have more on Bower in the weeks ahead.

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