One of the top defensive end prospects in the West region, if not the country, next year will be Long Beach Poly's (Calif.) Kenny Rowe. With his older brother Alfred signing a letter of intent with USC this past February, will that make the younger Rowe a lock for the Trojans?
Rowe, 6-3, 220 pounds will be a three year starter for Poly and is coming off a very solid junior season. The rush end was all-state underclass and a Student Sports Sophomore All-American two years ago and then earned all-league and all-CIF honors last season.
Rowe had 66 tackles and a team high 11 quarterback sacks as a junior and is one of the top pass rushers in the region. He played at 6-2 and 200 pounds last season but was recently measured at 6-3, 216 pounds at the recent Army All-American combine.
"I'm working hard on my strength and speed," Rowe said. "I would like to be up to 225 pounds by the start of our season in the fall. I'm working out almost every day with a personal trainer and I want to get my 40 time down to somewhere in the 4.7 range as well. I ran a 4.9 at the Army combine and I know I can do a lot better than that."
On the recruiting front, Rowe has two offers on the table and is hearing from schools from all over the country.
"Oregon and Mississippi offered me right around Signing Day," Rowe said. "I'm hearing from all of the Pac 10 schools plus Nebraska, Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida and Boston College. Mississippi is probably recruiting me the hardest right now. I get something from them every day and they text message me all the time."
With Rowe, the obvious question is does any school have a chance to beat out the Trojans. This past recruiting season, USC waiting until three days before Signing Day to offer Rowe's older brother Alfred but was still able to land him.
"We're totally different people," Rowe said. "USC was his dream school but I never really had a school that I grew up dying to play for like he did. I like USC a lot, don't get me wrong, but I'm far from a slam dunk in going there.
"Right now, my top schools would be USC, Cal, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon and UCLA. I'm going to attend Junior Days at SC and UCLA in the next month and I have no plans to make an early decision. I want to take a few trips before I do anything."
Interestingly enough, after we talked with Rowe, Alfred came on the phone and had some interesting comments about the two playing together in the future.
"I don't see it happening," Alfred said. "We've played together our whole lives and I think Kenny is going to go somewhere else. It's not that we don't get along or that we're sick of each other or anything, I just think it's time for us to go our separate ways and I think Kenny wants to be his own person at a different school."