Looks Like University Of Illinois - Vederian Lowe
I always Jerk Store the good jokes. 24 hours after Vederian Lowe picks Illinois, "Lowe's - let's build something together" finally comes across my brain. That would have been so perfect on Sunday. Like, tweet the photo of Lovie and the Lowe family with the caption "Lovie to the Lowe's: let's build something together."
Yeah, you're right. Would have fallen flat.
What I did say on Twitter: Vederian Lowe is a massive human person. I've gotten pretty good at approximating lineman weight (gonna put it on my resume), and I'd say Lowe is somewhere north of 350 lbs. That's probably too big for college football, but that's OK - that's why strength and conditioning programs exist.
Let's start with why I like the Lowe commitment. First, take all the Massive Human Persons you can find. If they're big yet still nimble, offer immediately. They can be as raw as raw gets (and Lowe is raw - more on that in a minute) because you can't teach size. At nearly every position, football is pretty much one thing: as large as you can get yet still athletic. Tight end who is 6'-6" and 245 lbs yet can still run like he's 5'-10" 175? He'll go far. Linebacker who bulks up to 240 lbs yet can still glide around the field laterally? There's your guy. Remember Andy Katzenmoyer from Ohio State? Remember the Ron Turner quote his first season?
"Coach, what can you tell us about facing Katzenmoyer".
"Well, he's bigger than every defensive lineman on my roster and faster than every one of my wide receivers."
(And that was a true statement.)
Football: bigger while still athletic.
On film, Lowe has a long way to go. Here, watch this film (it's just from one of his games - I think it's four plays, one minute long). Lowe is #79 - at right guard on every play:
Compare that to, say, Gabe Megginson's film and Lowe is maybe two full years behind. Megginson is polished in his footwork, Lowe, for now, is just big and strong. He's definitely a project recruit.
But on those two plays above where Lowe is the pulling guard, I'd offer him on the spot. He's that massive, yet he can still run downfield and get his hand on some tiny safety and send him flying - offer that kid immediately.
So why were we his only offer? This is 100% baseless speculation, but I'm guessing he might have some work to do to clean up his transcript. Again, I'm just speculating here - he might be headed for class valedictorian - but when there's a kid that the services rank pretty highly and yet no MAC team has offered, more often than not, it's a sign that schools are worried about his transcript.
And again - mini rant here - please remember that "transcript" is on the guidance counselor and not the kid. It's not saying that the kid is dumb. It's often not an ACT or grades issue. It's just that the kid started high school not knowing he'd need to get past the NCAA Clearinghouse with 16 college-acceptable high school credits, and by the time he's finishing his junior year and getting these college offers, he doesn't have a chance to finish off all of those credits with just one year left. He's on track to graduate, maybe even get a really good ACT score, but he's nowhere near this list:
4 years of English
_ 3 years of math (Algebra I or higher)_
_ 2 years of natural/physical science (1 year of lab if offered)_
_ 1 year of additional English, math, or natural/physical science_
_ 2 years of social science_
_ 4 years of additional courses (any area above, foreign language or comparative religion/philosophy)_
So a kid might have solid grades and a qualifying ACT score, but if he didn't take Algebra I until his junior year, or if he didn't take an English class freshman year, he's not going to get past the Clearinghouse. Juwuane Parchman was an Illini verbal last year (and a teammate of Lowe's), but he's enrolling at Iowa Western Junior College because he didn't have the transcript to gain admission.
Starting this year, the NCAA increased the requirements (I believe it was only 14 or 15 required credits before), and they added a stipulation that if a kid didn't have 10 of those credits before his senior year (some kids try to cram them all in senior year), then he's ineligible for his freshman year - an "academic redshirt". I'm sure a few of the freshmen who started summer classes today are on that "academic redshirt" list.
Anyway, that's a pretty awful tangent to take for a kid who might have straight A's and 21 high school credits, but again, it's usually on the school district to prepare kids, and we just had a kid from that high school last year who didn't qualify, and I worry about everything, so I'm hoping that Vederian Lowe is taking care of business so he can sign on February 1.
Tom Cruises. This is a hard one because it's all potential. If we can get him in a good strength and conditioning program and shape his body to play on the line (I'm totally open to DT if the OL doesn't work out), then we have ourselves a player. If not - if he's just raw and stays raw, then this is a project that won't reach completion.
Overall, though, I'm a positive person. We recruited some great size and agility, and now it's up to Lovie to make him a football player.
Vederian Lowe - three Tom Cruises.