TARPON SPRINGS – Joshua Bowers suffered a true setback this past season.
The 5’9″, 170-pounder tore his ACL in his right knee wiping out his entire junior year.
Since then, he’s done nothing but improve his mindset towards life and the game of football.
“Recovery was amazing. After two days, I was walking,” Bowers told Prep Sports Scouting. “After four months, I was running. After five months, I started track and ran the 100 and 200-meter races. I was aggressive about it. My leg is stronger and mentally I’ve gotten stronger.”
Entering his fourth varsity season at East Lake, the senior athlete gained 10 lbs. since the end of last season. He’s aiming to get to the 175-180 pound mark.
His primary position is cornerback, but he’s also a running back, kick returner and core special teamer for the Eagles.
Bowers earned starts as a freshman due to injuries. He called it nerve-racking learning a new defense from scratch.
“I remember I started at St. Thomas Aquinas,” he said. “I had to cover Sam Bruce, it was really difficult. But it was a good experience.”
He then used his sophomore year to build on a new defense. He played sparingly on offense, returned kicks and got back into the groove as a key player for East Lake.
Bowers has an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 18 high school games.
He also runs track for the Eagles, something he’s done since age 9.
Bowers says track keeps him in shape and helps him with long distance speed, driving his legs and keeping his down with football.
He started playing football at age 6 as a running back. He moved to cornerback when he arrived at East Lake.
His dad played was a running back at Bethune Cookman and his brother, DeAndre played at Brandon High and then Texas A&M Commerce.
Bowers is being recruited as a cornerback.
He holds an offer from FAU and interest from UCF, South Dakota, North Dakota State, Duke and Wake Forest.
In terms of his biggest strengths, Bowers pointed to his speed, technique, locating the ball, physical ability and instincts.
He wants to be an even better leader this season and be a stronger tackler against the run.
The Eagles went 9-2 a year ago after a 6-5 campaign during Bowers’ sophomore season.
“Our mindset is that we’ve done before,” he said. “We don’t look in the past. This is a new team and we want to focus on this team. We always want to improve.”
15th year East Lake head coach Bob Hudson is someone Bowers calls amazing.
“He [Hudson] makes the high school experience personal,” Bowers said. “He’s like a second father. He provides for you. There’s never an excuse to be somewhere. He offers rides and equipment. He makes us better men not just football players.”
The plan with this game is simple for Bowers.
“I really want to make it to the NFL. Of course, that is the biggest dream of a football player,” he said. “I’ve always told people that I want to be a professional athlete whether that is in track or football.”
If football doesn’t work out he wants to be a Biomedical engineer, aiming to make prosthetics for people.
Bowers is a bright kid. He strives for greatness in and out of the classroom and on and off the field. He’s a model student and a model leader on the football team. A big senior season will do wonders for his prospects at the college level.
Favorite players to watch – Adoree’ Jackson, Tavon Austin, Joe Haden, Brent Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves Jr., Marcus Peters
Playlist before games – 300 Violins, Kodak Black
Favorite movies – Tarzan
Favorite TV shows – Spongebob Squarepants
Fun fact that you think nobody knows – “I flip a lot. I can actually do a back flip, front flip and side flip.”
Nickname from teammates or friends – “Loco Tres”, “Fat Baby”
Game film: Bowers’s Hudl tape
Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.