Manor High School junior linebacker Erick Fowler is preparing for the upcoming football season at a new position as area defenses look for schemes to slow potent offenses down this year. (Davis defensive story) RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Football

Longhorns Class of 2016 Yearbook: Manor OLB Erick Fowler

Posted March 4th, 2016

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YEARBOOK: ERICK FOWLER

Manor outside linebacker (6-1, 240)

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HOW HE GOT HERE: Most figured Fowler would be an LSU Tiger, not a Texas Longhorn. He committed to LSU last June. But Texas kept recruiting him, led by linebackers coach (and recruiting coordinator) Brian Jean-Mary along with Vance Bedford. On the morning of signing day, Fowler switched his commitment to Texas and signed with the Longhorns.

STAR RATING: 4

RECRUIT RANKINGS: Overall, 75th; Fab 55, 21st, right above No. 22 Courtney Lark (Houston Bellaire WR, Houston) and right below No. 20 Kellen Diesch (Trophy Club Nelson OT, Texas A&M); Position, 7th

MILES TO AUSTIN: 13

AT MANOR: Was a two-time all-state and three-time all-district pick, including District 17-4A defensive newcomer of the year honors in 2013 and unanimous defensive player of the year in 2014. Was a two-time All-Central Texas selection. Manor went 20-13 in his three years.

STATS WATCH

2013: 73 tackles, 21 sacks, 2 INTs

2014: 61 tackles, 17 TFL, 12.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles

2015: 55 tackles, 7 TFL, 5 sacks

Total: 189 tackles, 24 TFL, 38.5 sacks

Here’s an interactive map of Texas’ recruiting class of 2016.

FOWLER’S BEST GAME — SO FAR: Against Killeen Shoemaker his senior year, Fowler had 13 tackles, including three for loss, and two sacks and a quarterback pressure. Shoemaker won, 21-6.

THE NUMBERS GAME: Fowler’s the 8th area product signed by Texas since 2011, joining Westlake OLB Breckyn Hager (2015), Marble Falls WR Garrett Gray (2014), Bastrop CB Antwuan Davis (2013), Austin High WR Cayleb Jones (2012), Hendrickson WR/RB Daje Johnson (2012), Cedar Park ILB Chet Moss (2011) and Lake Travis OT Taylor Doyle (2011).

THEY SAID IT: “What he did as a sophomore was freakish. In a class of really outstanding defenders, I think he has to be considered one of the very top products to come out of Texas. He’s really special.” — Greg Tepper, Texas Football managing editor

DID YOU KNOW?

  1. Fowler missed most of his freshman season recovering from a meniscus tear, but recovered in time for the playoffs. In practices before a Class 4A Division II state quarterfinal, he simulated Fort Bend Marshall linebacker Deon Hollins, who now is entering his third year as a starter at UCLA. Manor won, 26-20, to advance to the state semifinals, where it fell to Cedar Park.
  2. Contributing to Fowler’s decision to switch from LSU to Texas was the November death of his friend and Manor teammate Lance Thomas. “This year has been kind of rough for me,” Fowler explained. “I just thought if something happened to my family while I was away, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.”
  3. Fowler fits the prototype of a Charlie Strong recruit, which is to say he’s powerful and explosive. That’s evidenced by his power cleaning 315 pounds during his junior season. “You get some kids who go to college for four years and never power clean 315 pounds,” former Manor coach Sadd Jackson said. “That just shows you the power and the explosiveness he had.”

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