On Sunday morning, Shaddrick Lowery sat in a meeting with Eastern Michigan University football coach Chris Creighton on the College of the Canyons campus.
Lowery had just taken a visit to Eastern Michigan Friday through Saturday, and on this particular Sunday morning, Creighton was explaining how excited he was at the opportunity to have Lowery on the team.
Lowery cut him off mid-sentence.
“I have something to tell you,” he said.
“I really enjoyed my trip and I really could see myself here for the last two years I have left.”
After two years as a Cougar, including a 2018 season that included 41 total tackles (the third-most on the team) and five pass breakups, Lowery committed to EMU, an NCAA Division 1 FBS school, on the spot.
Lowery, a defensive back, also had offers from Eastern Illinois University and Delaware State University, both NCAA Division 1 programs.
“I always told myself when I commit I want to go to school where I’m wanted and needed and where I can play immediately,” Lowery said. “I love the facilities, I love the energy. It was just a fun experience. I could see myself playing there the next two years.”
Lowery landed at COC after not receiving NCAA clearance out of high school. A friend and current receiver at University of Oklahoma, Marquise Brown, recommended that he take a look at Canyons.
After a few phone calls with COC head coach Ted Iacenda, Lowery moved across the country and began an experience that would force him to grow up quickly.
“It definitely changed my mind mentally,” Lowery said. “Going from Florida, leaving my family to come on my own. COC turned me into a man.”
MORE: COC football picks up 16 honors in SCFA postseason awards
Lowery and the Cougars claimed the 2018 Southern California Football Association (SCFA) National Division, Northern League title after going a perfect 10-0 in conference play. Aside from a 42-30 win over Bakersfield on Nov. 10, the COC defense allowed no more than two touchdowns in any game this season.
Ventura College shut down Canyons’ season on Nov. 17, beating COC 21-13 in the first round of the CCCAA Southern California Regional Playoffs.
Lowery advises that success like COC saw this season doesn’t come easily.
“Always be ready to work,” he said. “Keep your head down, always be strong because everything is not going to go your way all the time. Stay focused, do what you do in the classroom and on the field will take care of itself.”
EMU went 7-5 overall and 5-3 in Mid-American Conference play this season. This Saturday, they’ll play Georgia Southern in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama.
“Be ready for the next level,” Lowery said. “We’re about to make a lot of noise.”