by Chris Johnson (@chrisdjohnsonn)
Leading up to the season Inside Northwestern will give you a preview of each of Northwestern’s 2012 recruits. Click here for previous entries
Hometown: Rockford, Illinois
Position: Defensive end
Star Rating: Three-Star, No. 95 DE
Ht/Wt: 6-5, 230 pounds
Other offers: Ball State, Illinois State, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Toledo, Western Michigan
What’s to like:
You can never go wrong by adding speedy pass rushers, and that’s exactly what NU is getting in Lowry, an all-state selection who led Boylan (IL) to back-to-back 14-0 seasons. Though he’s almost certain to play defensive end for NU, Lowry is a skilled tight end, and proved throughout his high school career that he’s quick and athletic enough to make plays in the open field. That athleticism stands out on tape when Lowry’s chasing down ball carriers or rushing the passer.
What makes Lowry such a versatile and effective player is his wide array of pass-rushing techniques. He can beat offensive linemen on pure speed alone, or he can spin, rip and push his way into the pocket. Most Big Ten tackles are smart players capable of making in-game adjustments, so Lowry’s diverse repertoire will help him tremendously as he makes the jump to the next level. At 6-5, 230 pounds, Lowry can be disruptive without actually getting to the quarterback, instead deflecting passes at the line of scrimmage.
Another intriguing aspect of Lowry’s game is his relentless motor. He tirelessly pursues ballcarriers, never gives up on plays and is often seen making tackles far down field.
Prospects for next season:
With guys like Deonte Gibson, Davon Custis and Max Chapman more than ready to play big roles this season, there’s no point in forcing Lowry into the DE rotation when he’d be better served preserving his four years of eligibility instead. While he could make an impact as a backup end and on special teams, he needs a year to add weight and learn the defense before he can be an effective rotation player.
The Wildcats have plenty of young talent along the defensive line, and Lowry has starter potential. He can use this year as a valuable learning experience in preparation for his next four years with NU. There’s no guarantee that Lowry will redshirt this season, and he’s certainly capable of forcing the issue with a strong performance in preseason camp, but it’s probably the best approach for a player who needs time to mature both mentally and physically.
What he’s saying:
“I’m going to Evanston in the next couple weeks and buying some purple and representing Northwestern proudly,” Lowry told PurpleWildcats. com after giving his verbal commitment last June.
What they’re saying:
“Dean Lowry boasts impressive credentials, coming from a power program in Rockford Boylan. He has the size and abilities plus the intangibles to make an immediate impact as a true freshman.”—Chris Emma, PurpleWildcats.com.