After completing his collegiate career in BYU, Defensive lineman Graham Rowley is on a mission to make it to the National Football League. Rowley matches up well size wise standing at 6-4, 280 lbs.
Rowley grew up on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. He spent most of his time surfing, fishing, and spear fishing and didn’t start playing football until his freshman year at high school. But when he started, it instantly became his passion.
“That is when I fell in love with the sport,” Rowley said. “I went to a really small high school and everyone played both ways. I never sat out a play.”
Rowley said his strongest trait is my willingness to learn and my dedication to the game. He lived with 50 family members in the same block and got his worth ethic from his father.
“My dad is the hardest working person I know,” Rowley said. “I just remember he would always be out in the house or in the back yard working on something till at least 3:00 in the morning every night, and then waking us up at 5:30 so we could go to early morning seminary. He is a great example of hard work and I’ve tried to be like that in my life.”
Before going beginning his BYU football career, he first had to fulfill his religious duty and complete his two-year Mormon mission. Rowley said returning to football shape after his mission in Chicago was the biggest form of adversity that he had to overcome.
“I just remember how hard the training was and looking at the other players just breezing through the workouts,” Rowley said. “It humbled me and motivated me to train harder and I eventually got into great shape before that season.”
Rowley credits his offseason training with BYU strength and conditioning coach Frank Wintrich for making him and his Cougar teammates much better football players. He also credits BYU defensive line coach and former Philadelphia Eagle Steve Kaufusi for helping him adopt the skill of 2-gapping and splitting double teams.
“Coming out of high school, I had no idea how to 2 gap and it took me a while to get the hang of it,” Rowley said. “But overtime it became my favorite aspect of the game. Kaufusi did a great job teaching me how to 2-gap and I believe it is one of my greatest strengths.”
At BYU Rowley played with the likes of Hebron Fangupo and Pro Bowl defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah of the Detroit Lions. Rowley said Fangupo is one of his best friends and has taught him a ton over the past off-season, while Ansah’s rise to professional prominence came to a surprise to everyone but his teammates.
“I just remember how much he struggled with football and how willing he was to learn the game but we all knew that he was something special,” Rowley said, “and now he is a pro bowler having an amazing career in the NFL.”