McGowan latest N. Gwinnett player to catch recruiters’ eyes

One of the benefits of playing for a powerhouse football program with some major college prospects as teammates is it tends to get other good players noticed as well.

Brandon McGowan

Brandon McGowan

North Gwinnett linebacker Brandon McGowan is just such a player. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior is just starting to gain some of the recruiting attention previously directed at the Bulldogs’ big senior tackles, JaWuan James (undecided) and Austin Shepherd (Alabama), and junior quarterback sensation C.J. Uzomah.

“It HAS picked up,” McGowan told me when I visited the Suwanee school earlier this week. “It has actually improved quite a lot lately.”

McGowan said he’d gotten very little attention prior to this season. But starting late this summer, he has heard from Clemson, South Carolina, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Kentucky and Georgia, among several other smaller schools. He actually took a trip up to Wake Forest earlier this year.

Last weekend McGowan and Uzomah accompanied coach Bob Sphire on a trip to Kentucky. This week he and Uzomah are heading to Georgia for the LSU game along with with wide receiver teammate Justin Dickens.

“I’ve always wanted to play college football,” said McGowan, who plays strongside outside linebacker for the Bulldogs. “As I’ve played through the years I’ve seen it become more and more of a possibility for me.”

His performance against Prattville (Ala.) High in the season opener helped. McGowan played a big role in hemming up Prattville’s LSU-bound quarterback Sam Gibson as North Gwinnett stymied the Alabama reigning state champions on regional television. McGowan was named Defensive MVP of the game.

“I haven’t really been to camps,” he said. “I’ve just been doing some things here. We do a lot of 7-on-7 in the summer. And Georgia high school football is like playing in the SEC. It is in the region we play in anyway.”

McGowan, who sports a 3.7 GPA, clearly is a smart young man. Asked if he had a favorite school he’d always hoped to go to, he said, “no sir.”

“I like all SEC and ACC schools,” he said quickly. “I like all of them so much it’d be my dream to go to any of them.”

Standing nearby, Sphire was pleasantly surprised by McGowan’s answer.

“I haven’t had a chance to coach him up on that either,” he said with a laugh.

North Gwinnett is likely to have other beneficiaries as well. Dickens, a wide receiver whose season got off to a slow start due to a having his appendix removed early in the preseason, is taking a visit to UCLA. And seniors such as WR Cordero Dixon, LB David Park, DE Jon Gibson-Green, SS Trey Sims, FS Will Compton, DE Ayo Ojolola and OG Aaron Lanzo have either gotten small-school and/or mid-major offers or are at least communicating with college recruiters.

“It does help everybody to have guys like that on your team,” Sphire said of James and Shepherd. “But you still have to be able to play. You have to show them something.”

McGowan most certainly has done that.

9 comments Add your comment


October 1st, 2009
4:27 am

In all likelihood, their best players are the two RB’s. They are just soph’s though.


October 1st, 2009
6:39 am

Seems to be a very intelligent young man. It’s only just beginning. Stay focused, continue to put in the work in the classroom and on the field, and it will truly payoff. Just keep it up!


October 1st, 2009
8:53 am

I know this kid – he’s smart and an incredible athlete. We will be seeing him play lots of football for years to come…

Vol in Suwanee

October 1st, 2009
9:00 am

This is 2 or 3 interviews of FB players from North Gwinnett. In EVERY one questions were answered with “sir”. That says volumes about these young men.


October 1st, 2009
9:07 am

A very good young man like the comment of justa thought…stay focused and humble keep up the hard work…stay hungry on the field and in the class room…”eye of a tiger heart of a bear” if your’re going to be a bear be a grizzly.

Dawg Man

October 1st, 2009
9:34 am

GATA DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


October 1st, 2009
9:44 am

Sounds like a Demon Deacon to me. Too smart for a Willie Martinez coached defense.

Chip Towers

October 1st, 2009
11:28 am

bje: I didn’t get into it in the above post but you’re right about the young RBs. In fact, Coach Sphire is real excited about his sophomore class, which may include as many as four D1 recruits: Joe Jones, Raahmil Brantley, Austin Parker and Jordan Washington.


October 2nd, 2009
5:44 am

Gotcha Chip. I suppose the younger kids will have plenty of time in the press in the upcoming years. I know Jones and Brantley are on the minds of SEC as much, if not more, than any of the upperclassmen.

Good stuff.