POSITION: Wide receiver
WEIGHT: 183 pounds
HOMETOWN: Dalton, Georgia
HIGH SCHOOL: Dalton
247 COMPOSITE SCORE: .8372
NATIONAL RANKING: 1165
POSITION RANK: 64
STATE RANK: 119
OTHER OFFERS: Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Columbia, Duke, James Madison, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Toledo, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and others
MORE: 247 profile | Hudl | Twitter
McGowan committed in June, the third class of 2017 wide receiver to do so. He had originally narrowed his choice down to Duke and Vanderbilt but reconsidered and ended up picking Northwestern, becoming the 18th member of the class. It’s clear McGowan values academics, not only from the Duke and Vanderbilt offers, but also because he held several Ivy League offers as well.
McGowan is a really versatile athlete who played running back, wide receiver and cornerback for Dalton, but he’ll line up out wide for the Wildcat offense. His 247 page says he runs a 4.47 40-yard dash, and he uses that speed impressively in the open field. At only 5-foot-10, he’s not the biggest guy, but his explosiveness fueled his high school success. He also shows some fantastic moves and good strength once the ball gets in his hands.
As with most wide receivers, McGowan will have to adjust to the speed of college football as well as improve his route running. He did, however, play in a spread system in high school, something that may ease his transition to the college level. He’ll also have to prove himself as a blocker. Pat Fitzgerald has had three wide receivers bypass redshirt years — Flynn Nagel and Jelani Roberts in 2015 and Bennett Skowronek in 2016 — so it wouldn’t be unprecedented for McGowan to play as a true freshman, but he’ll have to compete to even earn that right, much less see the field. Still, he flashes impressive speed and strength, tools that could serve him well in the future.