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Bower passes on UNI for shot with Hawks

[ 0 ] February 4, 2013 |

Bo Bower grew up a Hawkeye fan and wanted the chance to wear the black and gold.

“I fully believe I can play at that level,” Bower said. “If I work my butt off, I think at the end of the day, I can see the field.”

On Monday, the West Branch senior decided to take a preferred walk-on role with the Hawkeyes rather than a full-ride offer from Northern Iowa.

“I visited my pastor,” Bower said. “He just guided me to the decision I knew in my heart I wanted to make. Both coaches are very good.

“At the end of the day, I wanted to stay close to home. I wanted to be a Hawkeye.”

After lifting weights Monday, Bower called UNI coach Mark Farley. Bower had visited Cedar Falls one last time this last week.

“I told him I appreciated everything he’s done for me,” Bower said. “He understands.”

Bower isn’t the first in-state recruit Ferentz has convinced to change hats before signing day.

“Bo has great potential,” West Branch coach Butch Pedersen said. “I like his decision.

“It was his choice. He always wanted to be a Hawkeye.”

Bower is 6-foot-3 and 207 pounds. He projects as an outside linebacker.

Pedersen said Bower loves the weight room and thrived under Phil Johnson at West Branch. Bower was excited at the chance to train under Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle.

“I do love weight lifting,” Bower said. “It has been a dream to open up those big double doors and pump iron.”

Bower made a connection with Iowa linebacker coach LeVar Woods over the summer.

Woods and Bower share a similar background: Both come from small Iowa high schools with Woods attending West Lyon.

“He’s contacted me more than anyone,” Bower said. “Every night I’d call him or he’d call me. He’s very emotional about the game and loves the Hawks. He will bleed black and gold forever. We connected. He’s a great coach.”

Bower thinks he can add the bulk and become the latest walk-on to starter success story for the Hawkeyes.

“The walk-on program at Iowa,” Bower said. “So many have done it. I think it’s a very fair opportunity for me. I’m part of the team.”

Pedersen said Bower, with his 40-yard dash speed and a great work ethic, could really take off.

He thought Bower was the first West Branch player to join the Hawkeyes since Kevin Braddock took a preferred walk-on back in 1992.

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

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