Colleges have been after Guyer's Rowe since Junior High

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Many high school freshmen look to make a smooth transition in their first year playing varsity football, but Zane Rowe has done that and thensome.

So much so that he’s received over 20 offers thus far from the likes of Georgia, Texas, Nebraska, Texas A&M, SMU, TCU and more after playing just one season at the varsity level.

Rowe is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound freshman defensive lineman from Denton Guyer. Although he’s projected as a defensive lineman, he is being recruited by several schools as an athlete with his ability to play off the edge and at tight end.

“I am an athlete. I can play both sides of the ball; tight end, split end, and edge rusher,” Rowe said. “So most schools offered me as an athlete because they don’t know how I’m going to play out just yet.”

Though Rowe still has three years of high school left, he's already a veteran of the recruiting game. He's been on collegiate radars since junior high.

During the Christmas break of his 8th grade year, Rowe got a call from former Texas A&M tight ends coach James Coley, who is now at South Carolina. He received his first offer on that phone call, and it made him jump for joy, literally.

“I think I called all my friends, all my family, all my coaches. I was ecstatic,” Rowe said. “At my old house at the time, I had a 9-foot roof. And when I got the call, I went on mute, and I jumped and hit my head on the roof. I was just super excited.”

The offers did anything but stop coming his way. By his first varsity game on August 25, Rowe already had 18 offers. 

Georgia was the second school to offer with Texas Tech, Texas State, Nebraska, SMU, Arizona State, Arkansas, and TCU soon after. 

Rowe then finished up his first season on varsity totaling 23 tackles, two sacks, five quarterback hurries and two pass breakups in nine games. It was a season that awarded him a spot on MaxPreps’ Freshman All-American team.

“At Denton Guyer, we have a high standard on how we expect to play," Rowe said. "So it was really just getting my feet wet to that standard and pretty much getting my feet wet this season. Playing for that program, it’s been great, it’s been a blessing, I love it there.”

Rowe’s high school coaches have been his go-to early on in the recruiting process. With their experience, he often goes to them for advice on how to handle real-world situations that come with recruitment.

“I use a lot of guidance from my coaches and ask for their perspective on how I should take this, this opinion from another coach,” Rowe said. “So I’m using a lot of guidance from my coaches and my friends.”

Now that the offseason is here, Rowe can start to fully focus on his recruitment along with his offseason training. However, it’s difficult for Rowe to build connections because of the frequency of coaching changes around the country, and the amount of time left in his recruitment for many changes to happen.

“I keep my options open, because I know coaches, they could be moving around, so I try not to get too connected,” Rowe said. “But I try to get to know each coach that has offered me and really just try to build a strong connection. Because if they leave, I have that connection. So that’s really what I’m focused on, connections with coaches.”

Rowe stays in contact most consistently with Texas tight ends coach Jeff Banks, Texas State tight ends coach Will Bryant along with coaches at Georgia, Nebraska and SMU. He’s even taken some visits early on to schools like Texas, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Nebraska, Ole Miss and Georgia.

Building connections on a daily basis, navigating coaching changes around the country and still trying to train every day is a lot for a freshman in high school to handle. But it’s a process that Rowe knew would come his way at some point.

Just how early it came remains a surprise to him.

“This early, no, but I did expect it to come because I spend a lot of time in the gym, a lot of time in the shadows working, and now it’s all coming to light,” Rowe said. “So to see all the offers coming in, all my coaches say it’s paying off now.”

The timing of when the recruiting process began for Rowe may always be a surprise to Rowe. In fact, a year before, he wouldn’t have believed anyone that told him it would soon begin for him.

Regardless, Rowe finds himself in a position very few freshmen football players find themselves in. But to him, it’s only a blessing, and a process he continues to learn from.


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