On Tuesday the Atlanta Falcons, in an attempt to trim their roster to 75 players, waived Greenbrier High School product Ryan Bowers. Those who have not followed Bowers' career might have been surprised to hear that he was in camp with an NFL team.
His high school career was solid but certainly not spectacular. He played defensive back, running back and wide receiver for the 'Pack and was an all-county performer. He was good enough to earn a scholarship offer from Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C.
While in Clinton, Bowers did what he was known for at Greenbrier: he worked his tail off, for lack of a better term. He became a fixture in the Blue Hose secondary as a starting safety.
He put on 15 pounds of muscle while improving his already above-average speed.
By the time he was a senior, Bowers was a team captain and made a few All-American squads.
He led the South Atlantic Conference and tied for third nationally with nine interceptions in his final season. He also had become a standout return man. He was ninth in the country in kick returns as a senior with a lofty 27.8 yard average per return.
Needless to say, Bowers had molded himself into one heck of a football player.
His hard work paid off because after graduating from Presbyterian, he had some opportunities to play professionally.
He spent time in both Arena2 and then Arena1, gaining a solid reputation as a hard worker with a kamikaze approach in the secondary.
Thanks to all that hard work, Bowers earned an invite to tryout for the Atlanta Falcons.
He was on the verge of realizing his dream of playing in the NFL. He was impressive in workouts with the Falcons over the past few weeks. Making an NFL team, however, is not exactly an easy thing to do. In Bowers' case, he simply lost the numbers game.
Now, this is not the end of the road for Bowers. He has an outside chance to earn a spot on an NFL practice squad, and of course there is always Arena ball, NFL Europe, and a host of other leagues around the country, where he can hone his skills until another NFL team comes calling.
Whatever you do, don't make the mistake of doubting Bowers. He just might prove you wrong.
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