October 20, 2008

Top junior lineman offered by Sun Devils

Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial offensive guard Nick Rowland on Sunday became the first player in Arizona from the class of 2010 to publicly report a scholarship offer.

"ASU offered this morning," Rowland said. "We were talking to Coach Cozzetto today and he told me that I have a written offer. He said that it is in the mail and that I should have it by Monday or Tuesday. He told me that I have had a verbal offer since back in June. There was a little miscommunication, so I didn't know about it. They have not talked to me about position. I have no problems playing tackle in college but I would prefer to play guard."

The 6-foot-4 290 pounder was named the most valuable player for the offensive line at the National Underclassmen Combine. A second-team all-region performer, Rowland is also an Arizona native and has grown up rooting for the Sun Devils.

"I was pretty much raised on ASU tailgates," Rowland said. "ASU is my first offer so it is pretty big for me, I am excited about it. It is probably still a little early to say they are my leader though. I need to see what all else happens first. It's too early for me to say when I will make a decision, it's something that I will have to sit down with my family and figure out."

Centennial is coming off back-to-back state championships and has established itself as one of the top programs in Arizona. One of the key elements to Centennial's recent success is its offensive line play. One of Rowland's teammates, offensive guard Zach Schlink, signed with ASU last January. Rowland indicates that could be a factor in his recruitment.

"I know ASU right now is real young on the offensive line," Rowland said. "In fact its pretty exciting that Zach (Schlink) is looking to (possibly) make his first start this weekend. I think Zach being there is a real plus for me because I am great friends with him."

Rowland said colleges across the region have expressed interest in having him visit unofficially in the coming months.

"I have been talking to Coach Cavanaugh from Oregon State quite a bit," Rowland said. "I have been talking to (Arizona) a lot lately. I went down to U of A for the Washington game. I got to hang with some with the recruits and be on the field so that was cool. It would not surprise me if they offered me. I have been offered (game) tickets to unofficially visit Notre Dame as well as everyone in the Pac-10 I think except for USC."

Centennial is currently 7-0 after defeating Tolleson 38-0 on Friday night. Despite the seemingly easy victory Rowland is not taking anything for granted as he and his teammates focus on winning a third consecutive state championship

"We came out a little flat in the first half Friday but we ended up getting the job done," Rowland said. "We play at Westview this Friday. They are a tough team, it should be a good game."

Rowland previously told ASUDevils.com what he is looking for from the schools that are recruiting him.

"Location doesn't matter," Rowland said. "I just want to go somewhere that I can be comfortable (and) good academics will be important. I definitely want a shot at winning a national championship."

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