Cornerback Eric Rowe will join his teammate Kaelin Clay at the 2015 NFL Combine. Rowe announced his invitation via his Twitter account.
I am so blessed to be another Ute to be headed to the NFL combine! Time to put in the work to show up and show out in Indy! #blessed— Eric Rowe (@EricRowe18) January 6, 2015
Rowe was a four year starter for Utah. His career at Utah began with a bang with him being named a freshman All-American. He spent his first three years at free safety for the Utah defense. Prior to his senior year, he made the switch to cornerback, which head coach Kyle Whittingham noted would present him with the best opportunity at the next level. With NFL receivers getting bigger and bigger, Rowe's size (6-1, 201) in combination with his speed makes him the prototypical NFL cornerback.
Rowe defended 14 passes on the season and broke up 13. He recorded 59 tackles (which was tied for fifth on the team), with three of them for a loss, one fumble recovered and even blocked a kick. Rowe also recorded an interception that he returned 11 yards for a touchdown against Washington State.
Rowe took a little bit of time to adapt to cornerback from safety, as he struggled at times against Idaho State. He ended the season, however, as, arguably, Utah's best cornerback. His pick-6 and key pass deflection while covering Michael Rector of Stanford that helped seal the win were just two of his many stellar plays during the season. For his strong play, Rowe was named All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention for the second time in his career.
For Rowe's future in football, the switch to cornerback was a smart one. He has great size for an NFL cornerback (something he did not have at safety). He has more than adequate speed to play in the NFL. He has proven to be able to be a lockdown cornerback, covering receivers like USC's Nelson Agholor, Colorado's Nelson Spruce, and Colorado State's All American Rashard Higgins. Rowe hopes to be the second Utah safety turned cornerback to be drafted in as many years, following former Utes defensive back Keith McGill, who now plays for the Oakland Raiders and was drafted in the fourth round in last year's draft. Here is to continued success to Rowe, starting at the NFL combine then playing on Sunday in the NFL.