Posted: 8:44 pm Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Charlie Cowley likely Boca Raton Christian’s first FBS player 

By Jason Lieser

Anybody remember who led the area in catches last year? Rantavious Wooten? Chris Dunkley? James Louis?

Actually, it was Boca Raton Christian tight end Charlie Cowley with 59.

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Cowley (6-3, 245) was the Blazers’ best player last season and now he has a scholarship offer from Western Michigan. Cowley is the first in school history to pick up an offer before his senior season and would be the first Boca Raton Christian alumnus to play for an FBS program.

“I didn’t know I’d get one as soon as I did,” Cowley said. “I don’t have exact preference of where I go to college. I just want to get to college. Anywhere that I can help out their program, I’ll go.”

While Western Michigan is Cowley’s only offer, several notable programs have stopped by Boca Raton Christian’s campus to see him, including Miami, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Marshall, Florida Atlantic and Florida International. Cowley said Miami discussed the possibility of converting to fullback.

Considering Cowley did not start playing football until eighth grade, the fact that schools like Miami and Wisconsin are even talking to him is impressive in itself.

He plans to make official visits to Western Michigan and Wisconsin this fall and does not expect to commit in the near future.

Cowley caught 59 balls for 624 yards and five touchdowns. He was all-area and second team all-state in Class 2B. His fastest 40-yard dash time is 4.75 seconds, which is a little on the slow side for a pass-catching tight end. His max bench press is 270 pounds and he squats 410.

Boca Raton Christian went 3-7 last season and has one of the smallest varsity football rosters in Florida. Coach Kent Stapleton said he currently has 17 players on this year’s team and does not expect that number to climb above 20. Because of their depth issues, Cowley will play tight end, defensive end and punter this year. The most he sat out of a game last year was six plays.

If Cowley goes on to success at an FBS program, it could provide the Blazers a major boost.

“That’s what we hope,” Stapleton said. “A lot of kids are under the impression that they need to go to a big school to get noticed. We lose a lot of kids to West Boca and Boca High. Charlie is the perfect prototype of what we’re telling the kids. If you’re a good enough athlete, they’re going to find you no matter you are.”

Cowley also led the basketball team in scoring and rebounding last year, but said he is not playing this year so he can focus on off-season football training.

Bill Hood started the Boca Raton Christian football program and its first varsity season was 2001. Only two players have reached Division I: running back Chris Chapekis (an ’03 grad who went to Jacksonville) and linebacker Graylord Gedeon (’06, Rhode Island).