Former Florida State CB Talks about Juwan Dowels

Image from the Sun Sentinel (Photographer: Mark Randall)

I’ve made it no secret that I’m a huge fan of Miami (American Heritage), CB, Juwan Dowels. I personally gave him the highest rating I’ve given a CB that we’ve looked since starting this website three months ago.

But I wanted to give you the perspective of someone who has known Juwan for a while. Juwan’s mentor, personal coach and 7-on-7 coach, Stanford Samuels, played cornerback for Florida State. In fact Stanford played against us in the 2000 national championship and he has tremendous respect for coach Mike Stoops, in part, because of his experience in that game. Stanford trains a number of the best athletes in the Miami area including Juwan.

If you ask Stanford about a kid in Miami he will tell you the truth whether he trains them or not. He won’t sugar coat it. If a kid can’t cover he’ll tell you. In fact when I want to know about talent in the Miami and to some extent the Florida area he can tell you. He knows the kids that are overlooked but will end up finding their way into the NFL and he knows the kids who have offers from all over the place that “can’t play…can’t cover” and vice versa.

The thing Stanford really emphasized to me when he talks about Juwan is explosiveness. In fact the way Stanford described Juwan was “super explosive”. He told me that Juwan is one of the most explosive kids he’s seen. I want you to stop and think about all the phenomenal athletes Stanford has been around. In fact as a Carrol City legend and a former Seminole, Stanford is an athlete himself. And as we like to say, good knows good.

Stanford told me that, “when I want to lock a WR up…I put Juwan on him”. Some of you may be familiar with Ermon Lane. For those of you who aren’t, Ermon is a big explosive WR from the Miami area that is currently committed to Florida. Ermon is a terror on the 7-on-7 circuit in south Florida. When Stanford’s team played Ermon’s team, they were having a lot of trouble matching up with Ermon. Now let me pause and tell you that Ermon is 6’2+…Juwan 5’9…so there is clearly a significant height difference. Typically Stanford plays Juwan in the slot in 7-on-7 . The most explosive receivers play in the slot so he puts Juwan on them. On this particular day after the outside corner was having trouble dealing with Ermon, Stanford moved Juwan outside in order to have him cover Ermon. The very first snap, the QB threw the ball to Ermon. Juwan jumped OVER Ermon and intercepted the ball. To quote Stanford, “Juwan is up there with most explosive athletes I’ve seen.”

Juwan isn’t a talker on the field but Stanford says don’t let his silence fool you, “He won’t back down…he won’t shrink in the moment.” He’s a very coachable and intelligent football player and he works to master his craft. Stanford told me that Juwan takes coaching so well that “he never makes the same mistake twice.” He said Juwan is a great locker room kid and in fact that is what Juwan is looking for in a school…a great locker room.

In the tri-county area, Dade is considered the county with the most talent but Broward county has plenty! And I’ve always said that if your head is above the crowd in a place like Miami, you’re probably an elite athlete on a level that folks outside of that area don’t necessarily appreciate. Well Juwan certainly stood out because this past season he was rated defensive player of the year in Broward county. Some of you may be wondering why Juwan isn’t more well known. Juwan was a transfer to American Heritage this year. The school he attended before that doesn’t do a good job of getting kids film out or networking with coaches. Unfortunately that is the fate of a lot of great athletes and in a world where publicity can be more important than talent…a lot of kids get looked over for that reason.

In fact when our coaches find Juwan, they weren’t even looking for him. Apparently coach Bobby Jack and coach Mike were down in Miami and they stopped by American Heritage to see some of their better known athletes (the cornerback playing opposite Juwan is Tarvarus McFadden). But Juwan stood out and as Stanford says, “they noticed Juwan making plays in practice, as he always does, and so they started recruiting him”. You may recall that this is exactly how the Nebraska coaches found Trai Mosley. They were down at Hendrickson visiting Samaje Perine and Trai Mosley stood out. I love when kids are found like that because there is no false preconceived idea or hype about the kid. It’s the kids talent, and talent alone, that is so special it stands out (to the trained observer) in a crowd of elite athletes.

From what I’ve been told, Oklahoma is looking to take two corners and my guess is Tee Shepard is at the top of the board – my hope is Juwan is second. He deserves to be. He is not only the most explosive high school CB we are recruiting but he also may be the key to opening up a pipeline into the Miami area. With Charlie strong at Texas and the pipeline he has built to Miami, Oklahoma may start facing a step up in fast-twitch explosive athletes. We need our own pipeline to the prized recruiting city.




  • Shifty

    Nice read SuperK…Btwn Dowels Randolph and Shep it looks like were gonna end up with a few good corners

    • JY

      I’m definitely a fan of this stuff. Having more corners in there would be a big deal for us. We need them en masse.

      • Shifty

        Yeah we mainly use three corners and the free safety is usually a hybrid or started out as a safety (see Lynn, Jon Neslon…)

      • Ace Rix

        Sorry if this has previously been addressed but what are OU’s chances with Dowels at this point?
        Is he interested in OU?

        • Super K

          Yes very interested.

          • Cary Newman


            I apologize if I missed it, but have they confirmed his visit date?

          • Super K

            Juwan switched it to the 31st but Stanford talked to him about maybe switching back to the 17th but as of right now it’s still the 31st

          • Cary Newman

            Thanks K

            I’m hoping it will be the 17th.

          • Indy_sooner

            Great call. At the rate we are filling the class, I very much doubt we have open spots on the 31st and this is a guy we need to land. loved the story on how bjw found him. Kinda like stoops seeing Demarco Murray dunk at bishop Gorman

  • bjwalker82

    This is very exciting. With Shep and hopefully Dowels and Parker, the secondary could be quite salty. We already have Cortez and Sanchez. The depth at all positions will be unreal next year.

    • soonerinks

      Wow, all these star guys now interested in OU and we are running out of schollies!

  • Brian

    Have you seen film on Randolph to compare him to Dowels?

    • Sonny Schovanec

      They are both solid. As much as OU plays nickel they need good cover guys and both are pretty salty. Randolph might be a little bigger and more physical. Dowels film was fun to watch. To say Dowels is explosive is an understatement. When he breaks and high points on the ball it’s explosive personified. If the ball comes in his direction he’s going to get it. How many INT’s did Dowels have this year? It was INT city on his film. Funny because some of the posters on SK’s original blog on Dowels were concerned with Dowels measurable per ESPN camp. I don’t care about what ESPN says his measurables are Dowels is a STUD.

      • Super K

        Pretty much on the money. Stanford said he doesn’t know Juwan’s exact vertical but he said it’s so high that it negates any height disadvantage he has. He said Juwans main weakness right now is his size (in terms of weight) not his height.

    • Super K

      I have and I’ve also spoken to people in the Florida area that know both players. In fact one of the people I spoke to was a top WR that knows both. My personal feeling is Randolph is a good player…good at everything he does. Dowels is a difference maker to me. He’s more athletic than Randolph IMO. That was corroborated by the people I asked including the WR. When I asked the WR he said Juwan is much better in his opinion.

  • Jared Tyra

    Since we’re speaking of DBs at the moment… What are your thoughts on U’s first commitment, Vontre McQuinnie? I think he’s been kind of cast to the side after being committed for so long, so he’s been somewhat of a mystery to me. Haven’t even found any film on the guy.

    • Super Keith

      I hope it’s okay to post links in these comments, if not, I apologize and please remove.

      Anyway, here’s a video from Yahoo (Sooner Scoop I think). I keep thinking McQuinnie will play safety, but he could play nickle. Here’s a link to the video:

      Not much in that, but at least something.

      • Sonny Schovanec

        based on that film I wouldn’t be surprised if Coach Mike recruited Vontre as an OLBer edge player. Vontre actually made more plays with his hand down rather then in space. Have seen kids like that. Tend to struggle making plays in space, put their hand down and they ball out.

        • Super Keith

          Agreed. I’ve seen him listed as a safety some places, and an OLB in others. He seems to have more of a OLB skill set.

      • Jared Tyra

        Thanks for the link! It’s certainly get’s the job done considering I’ve heard next to nothing on him until now.

    • Super K

      I don’t know enough about Vontre to comment. He had some decent jr. film but there wasn’t much of it and I wasn’t successful reaching out to his coach to get more film which is why we never did an evaluation on him. Since early on though I’ve felt he’d end up being an LB. He’s a big. And my guess is he can’t do all the things required of him to play anywhere in our backfield. But again, that’s just conjecture based on very limited information.

      • Jared Tyra

        So he could end up as another in the mold of Keenan Clayton. Not fluid enough to bring down a Washington running back in open field, but big and violent enough to make plays at the LOS, you might say?

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    Wow, I would really hate to miss out on this kid. Thanks for the info; great job, as always, guys!

    • Shelby is a Patriot

      Heh, I say “kid”, he’s my age. Lol

  • Leroy Jenkins

    I really hope Dowels comes up to Norman, along with Parker and Shepard. Let’s not forget we’re in Adoree’ Jackson’s top 6, and Mixon has been recruiting him apparently. I know nobody expects that to happen (myself included), but nobody thought Mixon was coming to OU either. Just throwing that out there.

    Our D is gonna be straight nasty next year. So pumped for the OU spring game.

  • L’carpetron Dookmarriot

    Juwan is a 3-star just like my 70-year old mother is currently a more explosive athlete than Marcus Dupree ever was.

  • Jackson1006

    Like a skinnier Dre Bly, that’s what he looks like to me. Love your site btw. Thanks for the great articles.

    • Super K

      Thanks bro!

  • AlexOU

    Thanks guys, great analysis as usual