• John Macon Gillespie

Fowler Island Discovered At Fortius Project

Saturday was a statement day for Poplarville cornerback Chris Fowler. After narrowly missing the Fortius Project all-combine team at Jones County junior college back on March 4th, he looked like a completely different player at Mississippi Gulf Coast community college this past weekend.

His improvement was significant in the morning testing, as well as the competitive portions of the camp. He riddled receivers all day long in one-on-ones and team pass skeleton. At times he halted them at the line of scrimmage, and at times he shut down at the top of their routes. It was a special day for “Pastor Fowler”, as he is called by his teammates. He showed he has all the tools to be an “island” type of corner in 2017.

“I was very shocked about my performance,” Fowler told SES Mississippi. “I didn’t feel like I gave my best at the last Fortius at Jones.”

If what he showed at last month at JCJC wasn’t his best, and Saturday was an improvement, what will he show next? The answer is likely to come this fall as he appears to be ready to be a shut down corner for the Hornets.

The improvements Fowler made from one Fortius stop to the next didn’t happen over night, though.

“I’ve been working hard the past couple of months to make myself better,” He explained. “I work out with my team during school. I work out after school on stuff I need to get better at.”

Coming into Saturday Fowler felt that his 40-yard dash time would be improved. After all, footwork is a focus point for him this offseason.

“What helped me stand out Saturday is that I can read the quarterback and my press coverage,” Fowler explained. “My press coverage has improved a lot since I got more aggressive.”

The spark in his aggressiveness on the football field comes from his love of competing.

“I just love the competition. I love how my opponent comes at me,”

One receiver that did prove to be a tall task for Fowler Saturday was someone he’s very familiar with. KJ Hart, a 6’5 pass catcher from Poplarville, put his teammate to the test.

“We both improved from JCJC,” Fowler stated.

Going against athletes from other schools, especially a talented collection of guys like at Fortius on Saturday, is a great way to improve. However, going against his own teammates is something Fowler feels can’t be substituted for.

When he goes against any of his Poplarville teammates, it’s iron sharpening iron. That comes from the familiarity with his brothers in green and gold. This offseason that will be turned up a notch to ensure the Hornets don’t come up short of their goal in 2017.

“Since we were little kids we played together,” Fowler said. “All of us have been playing with or against each other. We treat each other like brothers.”

“Having played for a championship last year will help us because we’re going to work extra hard to do the same, but win it all this year.”

Last season Fowler was productive on both sides of the ball. That includes over 320 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. As a senior this fall, however, he will need to bring even more to the table. After an all-combine performance at the Fortius Project last Saturday, though, it appears he is prepping well.

“I really have to show that I can be a leader on and off the field,” He said. “And I have to show people I can be a shut down corner.”

#Poplarville #JohnLukeMcCord

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