One of the most notable recruitment stories that happened in the last few years from my view point was that of Bothell High School Senior to be Ross Bowers. The gifted Quarterback will lead the Blue Train forward into what could and should be one of their best years ever. Now committed to the Cal Bears as their gunslinger of the future Bowers recruiting process has been anything but easy.
Through many different sources we have watched Bowers go from being heralded as the next “big thing” to him receiving no love at all. It seemed at times he was a media darling and at others just a non-issue. For anyone watching him form his Freshmen year forward there were periods of brilliance followed by lackluster performances. That lead many to question where he would end up in the collegiate ranks. No doubt this 2015 Class out of Oregon and Washington at the QB spot is one for the ages.
We saw Ross manufacture one of the great wins we have seen in a long time leading his boys back to a victory late in the season opener last year against eventual Idaho State Champion Coeur d’Alene. The Vikings were loaded with D1 Talent and held the lead most of the game until late when Bowers made several miraculous plays in a row to win the contest going away. The brilliance of the kid has always been there and boy did it shine that night.
At seasons end Bowers would have an equally disappointing night; in his own words not showing up at all and letting the Cougars down as Bothell fell to Bellarmine Prep and were knocked out of the playoffs. Nothing unusual about a guy having an off night but Ross was dancing on the edge of being considered the best of the best. As they lost colleges seemed to pull back and wanted to see more before he would gain the likes of Cal and make his recent pledge.
The story we wanted to know was the one behind the story.
We have always supported Ross and have always believed he has the stuff it takes to be great. But we knew the struggle he was having as we could see it happening; a palpable sense of what happens to kids like him in the pressure cooker of collegiate recruiting. How did he rise from last November and that loss to multiple offers and a showcase appearance at Nike’s “The Opening” as the only guy invited from Oregon or Washington? What allowed him to do that- how did he do it?
The answers to 4 questions we asked him reveal something you all can benefit from. Ross Bowers has perspective and answers about the road he took to get to Cal; answers that reveal why he can be special as he moves ahead.
NWPR: Question 1- Ross do you remember what it was like waiting for that first offer? What would you tell all the many kids who are waiting right now and maybe frustrated or worrying about their football future?
Ross Bowers: Being a kid that really cared about all that stuff before I got them, it was so frustrating for me not getting offers and attention from schools I wanted to check out. My biggest regret would be focussing my attention on the offers I didn’t have, which took away from the fun of the game. Try to never let your negative mind set of you not having offers take over your thought process about football or your happiness, because when you get one, it feels great for that moment, but it’s nothing compared to the feelings you get from winning a game or throwing a TD!
NWPR: Question 2: What was your first offer and how did that change your mindset? What came from that to propel you forward to where you are now in terms of your thinking?
Ross Bowers: Colorado State. And it changed my mindset in a way that I could ease my mind of that constant worry of not having one. I wish I was a kid that just didn’t worry about the process but I would be lying if I said I didn’t. It propelled me to a mindset of things will happen if they are meant to be. I really started to enjoy the process and the little things that make the game fun! It was so much more relaxing because I didn’t feel like I needed to make the big play every play.
NWPR: Question 3: We saw you in a thriller against Coeur d’Alene last season in the opener. Ross your potential has always been obvious but at times it seemed your recruitment drug a bit. That game and many after it last season changed things for you no doubt – what can you attribute to your rise from that game to the Opening and the Cal offer and commitment? We want to know what were the keys to the success the last 9 or 10 months has brought you?
Ross Bowers: Dirk we had some amazing games, and they were so much fun to be apart of! What motivated me was something that actually broke me. The last game of our season we played against Bellarmine Prep, and lost. I had the worst game of my life and our season ended because of me. Football is a team game but the QB wins the game or loses the game for you and I lost it for us.
I took that feeling into the off season and just grinded. I have never worked harder in my life, and it wasn’t to get offers, it was to never feel that feeling I had of disappointment again.
When you say my recruiting process drug a bit that’s completely right, I wasn’t enough for major D1 colleges and I knew that. So I took January until The Opening to work as hard as I could to catch up, and luckily for me I did! It’s brought to the point of loving to compete in anything worth competing for and a whole new love for the game. The key to my success have been all my failures. I have learned how to learn from them, and turn into positives in my life.
NWPR: Ross this is very revealing and helpful to anyone in the process. I want to thank you for sharing with our readers- the goal is to help kids and parents “Get it” and stop chasing the HYPE and false promises – So the last question for you is what about this Bothell team? How much fun are you guys going to have this season and what can you say about this Varsity Squad having been on the last 3 squads for the Blue Train?
Ross Bowers: I would tell parents that recruiting is only real if your son is actually talking to the coach not hearing it from someone else. And our team this year is so special! It is different being on a team where you’re the oldest guy, because I’ve always been younger than everyone! It’s so much fun playing with all my brothers because we all love the game and each other. This years team is different only in 2 ways from all the rest, and that is we all play for each other and demand from one another. We have had such athletic teams, and great people on the past teams, but could never put it together. And it is definitely not the coaching because we have the best head coach and staff in country.. (Might be biased but it’s true in my opinion). I think this team takes coaching way better, and can actually apply it to the game better than any other team I’ve been able to be apart of! I’m so excited to get our first game underway, especially with all the hype around us too, because we have a lot to prove, but it’s more to ourselves than to the outside world. Whether we win state or don’t make the playoffs, I’ll always remember this team, because I feel like they are my true brothers. Wouldn’t mind winning state though!
NWPR: Ross thanks- And Congrats on the CAL commitment and all your success. It is clear you earned it and applied a no quit approach. Thanks for sharing with us the story behind the story!
Ross Bowers: Yeah No Problem Dirk!
What a great story and interview. Read his words people. Work. Grind. Get to a 1-1 relationship with Coaches and let that guide you. Let your failures be the keys to your success. That is true in life far beyond football. Thanks to Ross for reminding us all of that.
Here is Ross Bowers full profile and information here at NWPR with his film as well.
August 2, 2014 at 10:23 pm
Great article, I can learn from Ross and his recruiting process!