Marian's Brendan McGowan liked Temple University so much that he didn't want to wait to make his decision.
Despite the fact that McGowan has yet to suit up for his senior season of high school football, the offensive lineman recently gave his verbal commitment to the Temple Owls and head coach Steve Addazio for 2012.
"I always knew I wanted to go to Temple," said McGowan. "I began talking to the coaching staff last year. After they left, I sent in a film and even attended spring practice. I like Philadelphia and the city atmosphere and I always wanted to play Division I football. They offered me a scholarship and I decided to take it."
McGowan also received offers from schools such as Buffalo, Old Dominion, UCONN, Rutgers and Pittsburgh. Rather than go into this season with the whirlwind of college's seeking his approval, he thought it would be best to end all of the speculation now. Not for himself, but for his teammates.
"I wanted to get it out of the way," McGowan said. "I didn't want anybody worrying about what I was going to do or have it distract the team in any way. I want to just worry about the team and winning a championship. I want all of us to focus on winning and only winning."
Marian head coach Stan Dakosty believed it was the right time for McGowan to make his decision as well.
"We had talked about this with his parents," said Dakosty. "We felt like this was the right time to make a decision. Brendan visited a number of colleges, but he always seemed to come back to Temple. I told him that if he liked it that much then he should go with it.
"Coach Addazio is a great coach and Coach (Justin) Frye is one of the top offensive line coaches in the country. I think they will love Brendan because he is an extremely hard worker and sets high personal goals. He wanted to play at a high level and at Temple he will get to play teams like Notre Dame, Penn State and Maryland."
McGowan will probably play either guard or center for the Owls. It has yet to be determined if he will red-shirt his first year or not, as he technically can not sign his letter of intent until February of 2012.
The process started last year with then-head-coach Al Golden. However, Golden has since left for the University of Miami. Addazio was later named the new head coach in late December. The change didn't derail McGowan's aspirations.
"Coach Addazio and Coach Frye knew I wanted to go there. They got a hold of me and we talked. When I made my decision I called Coach Addazio. He was actually on a beach somewhere, but he was pretty happy to get my call."
Last season McGowan dislocated his elbow and was forced to miss four games. Still, he was able to bounce back and is healthy going into his last year of high school football.
"Brendan has really earned this," Dakosty said. "He overcame adversity with his elbow. He has and will continue to be successful. Hopefully he can be a source of inspiration for other athletes with injuries.
"Brendan has great feet. He is intense and a true competitor. He is also very smart and is a scholar athlete. He has all the physical tools and even has the work ethic to go with them. We sat him down as a sophomore and told him that he could make something of himself if he really focused and put in the work. Here we are two years later and he is committing to play D-I football."
Although McGowan's future at the college level appears to be set, he still has some work left to do at Marian.
"My goal for this upcoming year is to win," McGowan said. "I want to win a District 11 championship and go deep into the state playoffs."