Jalston Fowler was a key player in the University of Alabama’s run to the first college football playoff, but his Crimson Tide career did not end as he envisioned. Now Fowler, like the rest of the Senior Bowl players, is chasing his next dream to play in the NFL.
Fowler played myriad roles in the Alabama offense, including running back, fullback and h-back/tight end over the course of his four years in Tuscaloosa, including winning BCS National Championships as a sophomore in 2011 and again in 2012 as a junior.
Fowler was unable to play in the his team’s championship win against Notre Dame in Miami after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the team’s win over Western Kentucky. It was the low point of Folwer’s college career, but that did not deter him from returning to the game he loves.
“It was the hardest thing I ever experienced when it first happened, and it was devastating,” said Fowler. “After a few days I realized that it was not the end of the world and I could come back and be as good as ever and still have a chance at my (NFL) dream.”
Fowler was asked if the NFL scouts and coaches had any concerns about his injury.
”It’s not a concern,” he said. “The definitely asked me about it and I told the truth about it and they just said it was a blessing to be here and to be able to walk off from that injury.”
If there is a concern for Fowler this week it would be his weight. He weighed in at a robust 264 pounds on Monday, though he does not look overweight at that size. His playing weight was between 240 to 250 this past season.
“I’ve got to get my weight down. I played running back for Alabama, I played running back in high school and I played running back in Pop Warner,” he said. “If I can get my weight down I can run with the best of them.”
Despite the higher weight, Fowler has not suffered a loss of speed or quickness this week, showing a good burst and even the ability to separate from a safety in coverage after catching a pass downfield.
The one area that Fowler admits is his weakness is pass protection.
“I need to work on my pass pro, (protection) it was a little sloppy today,” he said. “Once I got going it was good and I had a couple good blocks there but I also want to work on my lateral movement so those are the two biggest things I need to work on.”
When asked if there was one particular NFL team that Fowler hoped might select him, he admitted he is an Atlanta Falcons fan and has been since he was a child growing up here in Mobile.
“That would be a dream,” he said.