football

Lowe could star on both sides

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Portland (Ore.) Jesuit star Keanon Lowe has his preferences on which side of the ball he'd like to play on in college.
But he's also keenly aware many college programs might recruit him as an athlete because of his ability to do damage at a number of different positions.
"I think I'm an athlete, and I love playing on either side of the ball," Lowe, who is 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, said. "I love the physical part of being a receiver, going out and getting the ball in traffic. But I also love how you can come up and hit somebody on the defensive side of the ball.
"Most schools are asking me what I prefer. I'm about 60 percent receiver, 40 percent defender. I'd like to start out at receiver, but I think I have the versatility to switch over later in my career if things don't work out there."
There's a lot to like on both sides of the ball.
As a junior, he had 42 receptions for 718 yards and eight touchdowns. He also rushed the ball for 193 yards and three touchdowns. He had three interceptions on defense, and averaged 41.78 yards on kickoff returns. He also brought back a kick 96 yards for a score.
There's also plenty to like off the field. Lowe is an excellent student that prides himself on being a good leader to his teammates.
"During practice I'm more of a leader by my actions," he said. "But when the game comes, I'm more rah, rah. The adrenalin gets flowing, and I let my options out. This next year, I have one goal – win the state championship. That's the only goal.
"We have a good, rich tradition, but I haven't had an opportunity to win a championship in football. After the loss in the semifinals last year, I think about it every day. I can't wait until the season starts so we can redeem ourselves."
There's no need for redemption in the recruiting process.
Lowe already has scholarship offers from Arizona State, BYU, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and Washington. Other Pac 10 programs and Mountain West schools are involved, and while he said he's still open to almost everybody, he did say it might be tough to leave the Pacific Northwest.
"The in-state schools, and the schools in the Northwest are definitely a factor," Lowe said. "Those three – Oregon, Oregon State and Washington – have a bit of an edge, because family is going to be a big thing for me. I would love to have my family attend all of my games, and they can do that if I stay close to home."
But he's not ruling out programs like UCLA, Arizona State and others because he's still early in the evaluation process. But he does know what he's looking for in the right school.
"The coaching staff is definitely the biggest thing for me," he said. "The relationship with the coaches will be key. If they sign five receivers last year, it won't really matter. I know there's going to be competition everywhere I go. I'm willing to put in the work. I'm not looking at playing time or the depth chart.
"A good fit for me with a coach is a down-to-earth guy. I want him to be just like my coach, coach Potter. They have to be big on academics and family before the sports. I want somebody that I can relate to, but also still be a father figure."
At this point, the three local schools seemingly have coaches that fill all of those requirements.
"Coach Steve Sarkisian at Washington definitely fits what I'm looking for," Lowe said. "I feel like I have a great relationship with him. I like him. He's a great guy that I've enjoyed getting to know. Then there is Mike Riley at Oregon State. He's more of a father figure. I've always enjoyed his company.
"Chip Kelly at Oregon, man that guy is ingenious. He has an amazing football IQ. I can feel my football IQ getting better and better just being around him."
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