Bamberg, SC (WLTX) - Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers announced Wednesday his intentions to enter the NFL draft. Thursday, News 19 caught up with Bowers and his high school coach on the same field where he learned the game.
The former Bamberg-Ehrhardt standout led the nation in sacks and was named the top defensive player in the nation. With Stanford's quarterback Andrew Luck announcing he will be staying in school, there is a possibility that the Carolina Panthers could take Bowers as the number one pick in the draft.
His high school coach at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High remembers coaching the standout not so long ago.
"A lot of memories on this field," said Kevin Crosby as he walks the field at Leon Maxwell Stadium.
Crosby said it wasn't hard when it came to unlocking the potential of Bowers.
"The way you unlock the potential of a player like that is you get them when their young and you make them feel like they're the best thing out there on the field," said Crosby.
But the defensive lineman who started all four years was already the best. "This brings back alot of memories you know, from being in childhood and growing up here," said Bowers.
Standing on that same field, Bowers credits his high school coach and Bamberg community helping get him into the NFL, a dream he said he's had since he was a child.
"You always want to goto the pros and play professional football but having the opportunity and the chance of a lifetime and it's unreal I'm just glad I could put Bamberg in a situation where everyone knows where it is now," said Bowers.
His coach has an explanation why he believes he was so good. "He played this game because he loved this game and when he stepped on the field you could tell it," said Crosby.
News 19 asked Bowers what he would do if he was drafted in the first round to the Carolina Panthers. "Home sweet home. Home town boy I played at Clemson, from Bamberg, South Carolina, two hours away. It don't get no better," said Crosby.
A player who's made his coach and community proud, but ready, to treat the NFL, like Leon Maxwell treats its fences. "He's gonna have it on lock down, he'll have it on lockdown," said Crosby.
Bowers admits he would favor a chance to play just an hour north in Charlotte, but says he'll be happy to play for any NFL team in the country.