Dowling's Mind is Set

Offensive lineman Sean Dowling

With all other visits behind him, Fallbrook (Calif.) offensive tackle Sean Dowling is set with the Bruins...

Fallbrook (Calif.) offensive tackle Sean Dowling, a long-time UCLA commit, has attended a few games at the Rose Bowl this season; however, none have compared to his experience on Saturday as the Bruins' defeated Arizona 66-10.

"The game was really cool. The fans were getting really into the game; I think it was one of the biggest crowds at the Rose Bowl this season. Coming into it, I knew UCLA was going to win; I had a feeling after seeing how pumped up the team and the players were. I can't wait to be a part of all of it next year. I'm really excited," he said.

Dowling, who has noticed a weekly progression with the Bruins' offense, left Pasadena impressed.

"The offense really executed this weekend. Sometimes this season they haven't really done that, and part of that is having three starting freshmen offensive linemen; they just don't have a lot of experience, But versus Arizona, they executed. [Offensive coordinator Noel] Mazzone definitely knows what he's doing," he said.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound prospect recently took official visits to both Washington State and Oklahoma, and though he enjoyed both, the experiences solidified his commitment to UCLA.

"I'm one-hundred percent to the Bruins, as usual. I'm not very exciting," he laughed.

Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm had a big part in Dowling's recruitment, and the prospect is looking forward to learning from his future coach.

"I talk to Klemm every week; I can't wait for him to coach me. They've talked with me about rotating into the right tackle spot. I'm probably not going to get first team reps. I play for a high school where I pretty much had to teach myself how to pass protect, but I'm graduating early, giving myself as much of a chance as I can to play early.

"There's also a chance I could redshirt. They have some quality players coming in, so we'll see. I'd like to play as a true freshman; that'd be cool, but whatever happens, happens. I'm not going to give up," he said.

Though UCLA has recruited a few top linemen in the 2013 class, Dowling welcomes the competition and is ecstatic regarding the talent level of the recruits.

"Scott Quessenberry committed recently; I can't wait to play with him. He's another San Diego guy and he only lives about twenty minutes from me. He's a heck of a football player, so I'm fired up," he said.

UCLA's victory was just one of the highlights of Dowling's weekend. On Thursday, he accepted his invitation to play in January's Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in a jersey presentation ceremony held on the field before the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs contest.

"I met Michael Irvin and Deon Sanders, both Hall of Famers, so that was awesome. It was pretty special. I got to go on the field and meet with Ryan Mathews and Philip Rivers. I've always wanted to play in the NFL and it was just a surreal moment knowing that it's a step closer to getting my goal," he said.

The honor holds extra sentiment, as Dowling's father is a Marine. Though his dad wasn't able to attend the ceremony, Dowling was proud to accept the jersey on his behalf.

"My dad is still in the Middle East, unfortunately. The Marines out there knew my dad and it was pretty cool knowing that I'm going to be representing my family and the Marine Corps at the same time. It's pretty special for me having grown up in an environment where I'm alway near a Marine Corps base and around Marines. It's cool to be able to honor them," he said.

Though Dowling's team didn't make playoffs, the lineman is already looking ahead to the future and becoming a Bruin in a few short months.

"I'm just working on getting ready for college. I'm going to start training again and I'm just getting ready to do my best so I can help continue to make UCLA a better program. I'll probably take my official visit in January when they are in bowl practice," he said with a smile.

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