“(Georgia State) can see a lot of potential in him, and he has great work ethic,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “He also wants to be good, and that’s a big part of it.”
Irwin said Georgia State coach Trent Miles, who was hired in November to succeed the retiring Bill Curry, visited with Dowling last week and was most impressed with the player’s 5-foot-11, 180-pound frame and his long arms.
During his two seasons of playing in the secondary, Dowling rapidly developed into a solid cover corner. And for that reason, teams didn’t target him all that much.
Despite that, he still ended up with 22 tackles — 1½ for loss — and three interceptions, the first coming with a 75-yard touchdown return in Lassiter’s season opener against Hillgrove. Other notable qualities of Dowling’s are his quickness and anticipation of the ball, and he has never been hesitant of being physical in regards of contact.
Dowling also received offers from South Alabama, Middle Tennessee State and Murray State, according to ESPN’s college recruiting website.
His solid play in the secondary helped the Trojans go undefeated in the regular season and clinch the Region 5AAAAAA championship before Brookwood stunned them in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs.
Opposing teams didn’t target Dowling all that much. Even though many teams in the region are built around the running game, most pass attempts against Lassiter, Irwin said, were toward the linebackers and safeties.
“I was really pleased with how he played throughout the year,” Irwin said. “His first year (at cornerback), he had real good athletic ability. I think the experience (in 2012) allowed him to be more aggressive and cover better.”
Now Dowling is committed to joining Georgia State’s fourth-year program, which this fall will be in its first season as a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision’s Sun Belt Conference.