Owasso's Jaylen Lowe offered TU scholarship, but no guarantee that he'll remain a QB
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Sunday, January 20, 2013
1/30/13 at 12:00 PM
The most prominent schools on Jaylen Lowe's recruiting radar were Pittsburg State in Kansas, Abilene Christian in Texas and Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. All compete at the NCAA Division II level of college football.
On Wednesday morning, just minutes before he was scheduled to depart for Miami, Okla., and a tour of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and its junior-college football facilities, Lowe was presented with an additional option - a major-college scholarship offer. A University of Tulsa offer.
Lowe, the Tulsa World All-Metro quarterback who drove Owasso to the Class 6A semifinals, was visited by Golden Hurricane head coach Bill Blankenship and offensive line coach Denver Johnson.
"I was shocked, I guess," Lowe says. "It came out of nowhere, really."
Said Owasso coach Bill Patterson: "People gravitate to Jaylen. He's probably the most magnetic kid that I've ever been around. Our student body celebrated the fact that he got an offer from the University of Tulsa. Everyone was happy for him."
One might presume that Lowe would immediately accept a Hurricane offer instead of playing at a lower level. He made an official visit to the TU campus this weekend.
"He's pretty excited. I can tell you that," Patterson said. "But he hasn't committed yet."
Lowe's indecision centers on one significant uncertainty.
Would the Tulsa coaches play him at quarterback? Or would they sign him as a 6-foot, 180-pound athlete and try him at other positions like slot receiver or cornerback?
"They say they would give me a chance to play quarterback," Lowe said, "but that I could be used in other ways, too."
"Jaylen believes that he's a quarterback," Patterson said. "He wants an opportunity to play quarterback."
The 2013 TU roster already includes four QBs - senior returning starter Cody Green, junior Kalen Henderson, redshirt freshman Dane Evans and sophomore Joseph Calcagni. Among Tulsa's 17 committed recruits is quarterback Ryan Rubley of Mountain Vista, Colo. He is the son of former TU quarterback T.J. Rubley.
Lowe's defining characteristic is off-the-charts athleticism. An outstanding basketball player who averages 21 points and has a 39-inch vertical leap, he says he has engaged in recruiting dialogue with Oral Roberts coaches.
During the 2012 football season - while leading Owasso to its first district title in 26 years - Lowe completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,332 yards, with 28 touchdown passes against only six interceptions. He rushed for 563 yards and 14 TDs.
In addition to having been selected as the All-Metro quarterback, Lowe was an All-State punter (39.8-yard average). He has been a punter since the sixth grade.
Lowe's signature performance occurred on Sept. 21, when Owasso prevailed 38-35 at Union. He was 14-of-19 passing for 269 yards and two touchdowns. He ran 15 times for 94 yards. With 24 seconds left, Lowe scored the winning TD on a 1-yard keeper.
"Probably one of the reasons he wasn't more heavily recruited as a quarterback was that he didn't start for us until he was a senior," Patterson explained. "We had another outstanding quarterback, and we needed Jaylen at other spots. As a sophomore, he was our most trusted corner. Plus, he was a receiver and a backup quarterback. As a junior, he filled all of those roles. As a senior, he was a full-time quarterback.
"His dream has always been to be a college quarterback - and particularly, a Division I quarterback. I think he's going to be a quarterback."
Exceptionally athletic quarterbacks like Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and NFL rookies Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins) and Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) dominated headlines during the 2012 season.
"It's always nice to have an athletic quarterback," Patterson said. "When you don't have an athletic quarterback, you're playing 10 against 11 - 10 guys on offense, and the defense has 11.
"A quarterback who can do different things evens it up. The defense has one extra guy that they have to account for. If nobody is there to account for the quarterback, you're just running against air."
At Owasso, Lowe made plays both on zone-read keepers and when sprinting away from pressure.
"I don't understand why you'd want a (stationary) pocket passer who just throws the ball away, when you can tuck it and run," he said.
Lowe has clearly defined options. He can be a quarterback at the Division II level. He could play in junior college and then have the opportunity, because he is academically solid, to transfer to a four-year program after only one season.
Or he could accept the University of Tulsa's offer and see whether his athleticism carries him to the desired end result - to start at QB for the Golden Hurricane.
"I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet," Lowe said.
National signing day is set for Feb. 6. It is expected that Lowe will announce a decision within the next 10 days.
Original Print Headline: Lowe gets TU offer, but no QB guarantee
Bill Haisten 918-581-8397
Owasso quarterback Jaylen Lowe has received a scholarship offer from the University of Tulsa. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World