Da’Quan Bowers loves football. He loves it so much that when Dabo Swinney asked him to help coach at this year’s Dabo Swinney Football Camp in Clemson, he replaced his favorite hobby—playing the guitar—with a whistle.
When he is not chasing quarterbacks for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bowers is usually touring with his gospel group, the Singing Stars. He tours with them for most of the spring and summer, but he took the last week off, and this coming week, from the tour so he could give a little back.
“I’m still traveling with the band. I’m very, very busy with the band, actually,” Bowers said. “I had to take a couple of weeks of vacation so I could do this. I will go back out next weekend. I’m still doing it and I’m still enjoying it.”
This week Bowers is enjoying coaching, and what has made it extra special is the fact he got to spend it with his former Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School and Clemson teammate – Ricky Sapp.
“I have had the pleasure to see Ricky grow a lot as a person. He actually wants to be a coach soon, really soon,” Bowers said. “I’m glad he is getting the experience and is really enjoying it.
“We are just taken it in and learning all we can from these college coaches and these high school coaches because one day this will be us coaching at some type of level so it is good to get all the information we can.”
Sapp spent last football season as a volunteer coach at North Myrtle Beach High School.
“I fell in love with the kids, man. I think I really enjoyed doing it,” he said. “I have been blessed to play the game so long so I would say I have a little bit of experience, but I think for the most part, I really enjoy coaching the kids. I really enjoy being around them and helping them out.”
Sapp says he is not done with being a player just yet. He is hopeful an NFL team will give him another shot to extend his playing career in the months to come, but if not, he is ready to take the dive as a full-time coach.
“I’m still praying for maybe a couple of more years in the NFL, but I really enjoy coaching,” he said.
Bowers feels the same way, though he is still an active member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“This is an amazing opportunity,” the Hendricks and Nagurski Award winner said about coaching in Swinney’s camp. “You get to be around and be an impact on so many kids’ lives. These kids look up to the coaches, the players, it is just a great feeling and we appreciate Coach Swinney asking us to come and do it.”
Bowers and Sapp are just two of more than 60 former Clemson players to come back to Tigertown and help out with Swinney’s four camps.
“It is always good to be around football and football players, no matter what age and no matter what the reason,” Bowers said. “Being able to be around these athletes is definitely getting me excited for the season. I know they are excited.”
It’s also a chance for all a lot of the former players to come home. Sapp says Clemson is a lot like his hometown of Bamberg, South Carolina.
“It will always feel like home. I told Quan the other night, and he thought I was joking, but we need to get a house here. I’m serious. It’s home,” Sapp said. “This place is awesome. This truly is a great place, great coaches, great people and great ex-teammates. I love it. I love being back.”
And Clemson loves having them back.
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