Bowers: Leaving Clemson was a difficult decision

by - Senior Writer -
Even though he might be the number one overall pick Da'Quan Bowers said it was a difficult decision.

Da'Quan Bowers press conference (MP3 Format)

CLEMSON – Da’Quan Bowers said he sat down with his mothers and sisters following Clemson’s bowl games, and went around the room to each person asking what they thought he should do: stay for a final year at Clemson or turn the chapter in his career and head to the National Football League.

The answers were unanimous in nature, and Bowers made the decision that he is ready to take his monster talent into the NFL and work at becoming the No. 1 overall draft pick in this spring’s draft.

Bowers met with the media Saturday afternoon in the Team Room at the West Zone, and said he wanted to thank Clemson for a great three years.

“First of all, I just want to thank Clemson University for a terrific three years,” Bowers said. “It was my home. Unfortunately, I made the decision to leave. It was a very hard decision, but I thought it was the best decision for me and my family. Like I said, if it wasn’t for these coaches and these players here, and the support group, like Tim and all the rest of the guys, I probably would have strayed away a little bit after I lost my father. It was very tough for me.

“Through it all, they were very supportive. I want to thank everybody at Clemson. It was a great couple of years. From Vickery Hall, to my tutors, everybody who made it possible for me to get this far this early, I’m only about 23 hours from graduating. I’m going to get my degree. I will finish that, sooner or later. I promised my family that. I just want to thank coach Swinney for supporting me and believing in me when nobody else did.”

Bowers said the decision was a tough one, despite knowing a professional contract awaited.

“I didn’t make a decision until after the game,” Bowers said. “I took some days off and thought about it. With a decision like this, you never can be sure. I wanted to weigh out all of my options, the pros and the cons of the situation. I made my decision a few days after the bowl game. I’m happy with the decision I made.

“I thought I had a great career. I think I’m ready for the next challenge, at the NFL level. I had a great three years at Clemson. This was my best year. I did some outstanding things here for the university. It’s an amazing position that I’m in right now. I’m truly blessed to be in the position that I am able actually to leave early and forgo my senior year.”

And sitting down with his family was the most important part of the process.

“I got to Bamberg on Sunday, after the game. I talked to mom my about it a couple of times on the phone,” he said. “Me, her, my sisters, everybody sat down. We talked about it, prayed about it. One by one, I went around the room and asked them, what they thought. They all gave me their reasons why I should stay and I why I should go. I gave them my reasons. And I came up with a decision.”

He said both paths had pros and cons.

“The cons, basically, leaving Clemson, not getting my degree on time, leaving my family, my team, leaving on a bad note with a 6-7 year,” Bowers said. “The pros, I get a chance to fulfill a dream that I’ve always had. It was my father’s dream for me to play in the NFL. I can live his dream. A great friend of mine, Gaines Adams, didn’t have the career that he planned, because of his passing. I can let his dream live through mine. I’d be here all day if I had to list them all. The ultimate goal, we all play football to play in the NFL. I just had the opportunity right now. I’m not promised this opportunity ever again in life, so I had to take it.”

Bowers is represented by BTI Sports out of Chicago, and said he has been working out at Athletes Performance in Los Angeles, and he will continue to work out there until he comes back to Clemson for Pro Day the second week of March. He said he will be back at work on Monday, and he will attend the combine in order to try and cement his status atop the draft board.

“I just got in last night from Los Angeles,” he said. “I’m out there training with Jarvis [Jenkins]. We’re training for the combine, pro day and all that. I leave right back out tomorrow, to go to work on Monday.”

Bowers finished his junior season with 67 tackles, 16 sacks and one interception.

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