We continue the series with a likely starter on the D-Line.
Keith Bowers, Junior, Defensive End, #91
Collegiate Stats: 47 tackles (19 solo), eight for a loss, three and a half sacks, one fumble recovered, one pass defended
High School Stats (Senior Year): 74 tackles and 15 sacks
Recruiting Ratings: Three stars by Rivals, Scout (#152 DE), two stars by 24/7 (#295 in Florida, #42 DT)
High School: Dwyer
Hometown: West Palm Beach, Fla.
High School Highlights:
How'd he get to College Park?
Keith Bowers comes from loaded Dwyer High School, whose 2011 class had eight players go on to FBS schools (and a host of others who went to smaller programs). He was one of their best players on defense during his senior year, and their coach told Matt Bracken of the Sun that he was probably the strongest out of a defensive line that included players going to Tennessee, Florida State, and Middle Tennessee State.
Bowers was offered by a host of MAC, Sun Belt, and Conference-USA schools, but never got the call from one of the bigger schools in Florida. Instead, his choice of FBS schools was between Maryland, Illinois, and Kansas. The Terps ended up winning that battle, thanks to a strong push from Don Brown and their relentlessness in their recruitment, even through the coaching change.
At the beginning of Bowers's senior campaign, Dwyer lost a controversial game to Cleveland-Glenville, when two clear touchdowns in the final two minutes were missed by the officials. Bowers reportedly delivered an impassioned speech after the game (his coach called it "almost like a Tebow-like speech"), telling the team that they would work harder than anybody else and not lose another game. They ended up making it to the state semifinals.
As a freshman, Bowers came into the program and found immediate success. When Isaiah Ross was injured against Miami, Bowers took over and started every game for the rest of the season. He was tied for fourth in tackles for a loss and sack, and as a result, was named an honorable mention freshman All-American. Last year, Bowers took more of a backseat, recording just eleven tackles in eight games, starting none.
Honorable mention freshman All-American.
Bowers holds off Andre Monroe and gets another year as a starter under his belt.
Maryland's defensive line is seriously depleted with the losses of Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis, but Bowers is a guy who has started for this program before, and who the coaches are very high on. High enough to place him on top of the spring depth chart, above Andre Monroe, who has put up better numbers than Bowers in his playing time with the Terrapins.
Bowers is quick an should be a strong presence off the edge for the Terps, and no matter if he or Monroe ends up starting, they should both receive a boatload of playing time and opportunities to prove themselves. With the strong man Quinton Jefferson anchoring the other side and big Darius Kilgo in the middle, that should provide ample opportunity for Bowers and Monroe to break through and make plays behind the line.
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