Chris Rowland is one of the best players in the HBCU. The Tennessee State wide receiver will kill you as a return man and as a deep threat. Rowland is one of my favorite players to watch on film because of his big-play abilities.
It all started at Ravenwood High School, where Rowland was a stand out receiver who led his team with 47 receptions for 924 yards and scored 9 touchdowns his final year. The crazy thing is he added an additional 744 yards running the ball and had 10 touchdowns on 98 carries. He averaged 49.6 yards per kick return and 18.6 on put returns, and in his career had 5 touchdowns on returns.
Did you read that correctly? 49.6 yards per kick return in his career at high school. The crazy thing is it translated to the NCAA as well.
As a Freshman at TSU, Rowland played in 11 games as a true Freshman. He led the nation in return yards with 1,103 and set a TSU single season record in kickoff returns and kick off return yards. He averaged 23 yards per kick return, 8.5 yards on punt returns and had 124.5 yards per game in all-purpose yards. He has been a swiss army knife since entering college.
As a Sophomore, he played in only 10 contests, starting four. His coaching staff did not use him the same way he was used his Freshman year. He still did shine though when he had the ball in his hands. He finished with 17 receptions for 178 yards and one touchdown. He did have 113 yards on the ground and scored his first collegiate touchdown his Sophomore year.
His Junior Year, he balled out again. He started only 8 games as a wide out and led the team with receptions. He had 57 receptions for 727 yards with five touchdowns. He ranked sixth in the nation, averaging 13 yards per return on punt returns, and amassed 963 all purpose yards. He is not being used the way he should when it comes to the return game. He is the most explosive player on the field, and every NFL scout will see that.
Think back to Tavon Austin at West Virginia, that is what you are getting with Chris Rowland. Tennessee State needs to utilize their speed burner this year. He has developed into their best wide receiver, but he is also their best return man and he is not getting the opportunities. The 5’8 return man has Tyreek Hill and Tavon Austin abilities as a receiver and return man, and hopefully this year the Tigers will keep the ball in his hands.