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Bowers picked in 2nd round NFL Draft Print E-mail

Thursday, April, 28, 2011, was a day that started with excitement and anticipation and would turn into a two-day vigil, with the hopes and dreams of the entire Bamberg community rising and falling on each NFL Draft choice that was not named native son Da’Quan Bowers.

Then on Friday evening around 7:00 p.m. in the second round of the draft with the 19th pick (51st overall) Bowers got the call that would change his life forever, he would be drafted into the NFL by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers setting off a wild celebration of a crowd of family and invited friends estimated to number 300 that would last into the night at his family home on Price Street in Bamberg.

“It’s done,” Bowers, the former Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School All-American and 2010 ACC Defensive Player of the Year at Clemson University said when he emerged from the back door of his house after receiving the call from the Buccaneers and plunging in a crowd of adoring fans.

If Bowers was angry or upset because of his slide on the NFL Draft board, because of a reported knee injury, no one at his NFL Draft Celebration-day two, could tell it by the huge smile on his face.

“It’s given me the chance to prove that I’m the real deal,” Bowers, who along with being named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, was also the recipient of the 2010 Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s top defensive player, the Hendricks Award as the top Defensive End and Finalist for the Lombardi Award and the Bednarik Awards said.

“That’s what it’s all about proving my case. I’m just ready to get in Tampa and show everybody what I’m capable of doing and show them that they picked a great athlete and great guy. I’m just ready to get down there and go to work.”

Bowers selection into the NFL comes after a difficult off-season that saw him lose his father Dennis Bowers, mentor Gaines Adams (who also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and good friend and Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School SRO Eric “EB” Bamberg.

“Everything happens for a reason,” Bowers said. Adding “and it’s all in God’s plan, so I’m just happy for the opportunity.”

As Da’Quan was being mobbed by family and friends so was his mother Linda Bowers, who remained stoic through the whole two-day ordeal.

The first night of the 2011 NFL Draft saw a wide-cross section of the Bamberg community that included: Teachers, former coaches, former high school teammates, B-E Booster Club and B-E Quarterback Club members and many others turned out to show their support for Da’Quan Bowers with returning on Friday night.

On Friday, leading up to the second round of the draft many people in the community offered their support to the young man that turned down an opportunity to go to Radio City Music Hall in New York and instead stay home with his family and friends.

Denmark Pharmacist Duncan Williams, a diehard Gamecock fan, offered his support to Bowers saying that “I know Da’Quan will show them once he gets drafted.” Bamberg Banker Rad Free said he was “sickened” by the fact (by no choice of their own) that two of Bamberg’s standouts at Clemson (Ricky and Da’Quan) suffered knee injuries costing them millions of dollars.

Former B-E and Clemson University standout, present Philadelphia Eagles defensive end and Da’Quan Bowers cousin Ricky Sapp, who was on hand to offer moral support Friday said “All Da’Quan wants is a shot.”

Now Da’Quan has his shot, a whole community knows he will make the most of it.

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