Joshua Rowland knew when he stepped foot onto Texas’ campus that Austin was where he needed to be.
The Gulf Coast kicker soon pulled in a Longhorn offer and by Sunday night committed to UT.
“I feel like Texas is where I’m supposed to be,” Rowland told the Sun Herald on Monday. “When I got to campus for my visit, I got a sense I’m supposed to be here. It was so welcoming.
“I loved every second of my visit. It was incredible.
Rowland’s pledge marked the first of the Tom Herman era — a fact he didn’t realize until a fan tweeted it to him.
“It’s a great feeling because I feel like I’m a part of history and the start to hopefully a great career at Texas for Coach Herman,” he said.
Rowland quickly proved at Gulf Coast he was one of the country’s top kickers. The former Madison Central standout converted 16 of 19 field goal attempts and all 44 PATs as a freshman to earn a spot on the NJCAA’s All-America team. He followed up the performance by kicking 9 of 12 field goals attempts this season and 32 of 33 PATs. He was also named the MACJC Special Teams Player of the Week twice and was recently named to the NJCAA All-Region 23 team.
“Not surprised (about Rowland’s Texas offer), either,” Gulf Coast coach Chad Huff said. “We’ve had a lot of great kickers come through here. I knew right away when Josh came in here he had just as strong of a leg as the guys we have had in the past. He has a very strong leg and very accurate.
“I think Texas is getting a great kicker.”
Texas is graduating its starting kicker, former LSU Tiger Trent Domingue, so Rowland will have the opportunity to step in and kick right away.
“I’m ready to come in and take on the responsibility as their kicker and put that on my shoulders,” he said.
Prior to visiting Texas, Rowland actually started his weekend by visiting UTSA, which had offered him earlier in the week. He also held offers from Houston, Southeast Missouri, Nicholls State, Lamar and West Georgia.
Junior college players are eligible to sign with Division I programs beginning Wednesday morning.