By Trey McCurry.
With his recent award tour over, DaQuan Bowers met with the media following the Tigers first practice in preparation for the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
“It was a great experience,” said #93. “The best time about the whole thing was getting to know the different players and doing all the community things with them. I wish all college athletes could experience it.”
After winning the ACC Defensive Player-of-the-Year in Charlotte, Bowers won the Nagurski Award (for the best defensive player in college football) in the same city. After receiving the award, coincidentally from Coach Dabo Swinney, Bowers headed to Houston. While in Texas, Bowers won the Ted Hendricks Award (as the nation’s top defensive end) and was a finalist for the Lombardi Award (for the top college lineman). From there, it was off to Orlando and the ESPN College Football Award program. Even though he did not win the Bednarik Award, Bowers was named a first-team All-American by the Walter Camp Foundation while in Florida.
During his time on the road, Bowers had some time to talk with Coach Swinney and the two discussed his future. “We talked about some key things and he pointed out certain situations (in regard to the potential NFL lockout and new collective bargaining agreement). I’m grateful for his knowledge of what’s going on there, and presenting me with the education to help me make my decision.”
Speaking of his decision, the junior talked at length about the looming decision process he will go through in the next month.
“After the bowl game, I’ll drive back to Bamberg and spend some time mulling it over. I’ll spend a few days there with my mom, brother and sisters. We will take some time and go over the pros and cons of all the situations. I’m going to make the decision that is best for my family and me.”
Besides the issues with the lockout and CBA, Bowers has another side that he will have to consider: fulfilling his mother’s wish of earning his college degree, an area in which he says he is 20 or so hours short. “My mom is supportive either way. She wants me to get my degree and I promised her I would.”
Bowers joked with reporters about how people have asked how he could pass up the NFL to come back for his senior season.
“Everyone has asked me why I would put it on hold. I hear it Facebook and Twitter and all over. Every time I talk to a person about leaving, they’re all, ‘You’d be crazy to come back.’ But it’s not all about the money and it’s not all about the fame and the glory. I have bigger dreams than the NFL. It’s all about making the right decision and being smart about it.”
No matter what decision he makes about his future, Tiger fans are certain they have at least one more chance to watch Bowers on New Year’s Eve against South Florida.