Hoosiers Hoping to Lure "Shaq" to Bloomington

Shawntel Rowell

Cleveland Glenville big man Rowell drawing interest from Indiana and others for his skills on both sides of the ball...

Bloomington, Ind. – The Hoosiers have their sights set on "Shaq."

This Shaq, though, is a standout on the football field as opposed to the basketball court. It's Cleveland Glenville's Shawntel "Shaq" Rowell, a 6'3", 325-pounder who is drawing plenty of recruiting interest on both sides of the ball. Indiana began targeting Rowell last summer after he participated in one of IU's individual camps, and the Hoosiers are thinking he'd fit in best on the offensive line, most likely at guard.

"I hear a lot from Coach (Bobby) Johnson, and he's a pretty cool guy," Rowell said. "He said he likes the quickness of my feet. I lost a lot of weight, so my feet are even quicker. Also, he likes my strength."

While Rowell does tip the scales at 325 pounds, that's 50 pounds less than what he played at a year ago. He said he's still looking to get his weight down to the 295 or 300-pound range. Strength is also a big part of his game, as he said he benches 415 pounds and can squat 560.

One thing that could help the Hoosiers is the fact Rowell comes from the same high school that produced current players Ray Fisher and Eric Thomas. Of course, Glenville is traditionally one of the top programs in the nation, so Glenville H.S standouts are sprinkled around the Big Ten.

"My old teammates are always telling me I come here or go there," Rowell said. "But I just want to make sure I pick the best school for me when it's time to pick a school."

When that time does come, it will most likely be a Big Ten school. Rowell already has offers from IU, Purdue and Illinois, and said he has been getting interest from others including Ohio State and Michigan.

"Most of my schools are in the Big Ten, which I think is the best football in the country," Rowell said.

One thing that makes Rowell an intriguing recruit is his ability to play on either side of the ball. He's been spending all of his time this year on the offensive line, but some of the schools on his list view him as a space-eating, run-stuffing defensive tackle.

Rowell said he's indifferent about which side of the ball he plays in college, but he knows that versatility makes him an even more coveted recruit.

"It's a big value," Rowell said. "A lot of people want me on offense and a lot want me on defense. Wherever I play, I'll enjoy it and compete my hardest."

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