Lowery brings versatility to Razorbacks
Evan Stewart, a 6-0 wide receiver at Liberty High School (Texas), is the best wide receiver in the class of 2022, according to ESPN. It’s entering its final year this fall with offerings from Texas, Florida, Alabama, LSU, and a collection of other Power 5 programs.
For most of the night of October 30, 2020, Stewart cut out high school from Frisco High School.
At halftime, he had already scored one of Liberty’s two touchdowns. He was feasting on Frisco defensive back Myles Mays, and Frisco coach Jeff Harbert knew he had to make a change.
Enter defensive back Chase Lowery.
“That was it for Evan Stewart that night,” said Lowery, who later signed with the University of Arkansas.
In the second half, Lowery went wherever Stewart went, scrambling, smashing passes and single-handedly turning the Liberty offense into a dimension. Stewart caught just one more pass for 9 yards. Lowery walked away with two interceptions.
“There was no doubt who was the best player on the pitch,” said Harbert. “It was Chase Lowery.”
A game-changing defensive back. Wide receiver for playing. Speed change kick return. Lowery did it all at Frisco, playing a key role for the Fighting Raccoons in all three phases of the game. Last month that same point guard arrived on the Fayetteville campus, where he is expected to play as a defensive back.
But Lowery has never been confined to just one position or one side of the ball, and in the 6-0 cornerback the Razorbacks have a player who can pick up a game anywhere on the pitch.
“He’s an impact player whenever he’s on the pitch, wherever you put him,” Harbert said. “He can do whatever you ask him to do. He’s a bit like Superman.
The athleticism of superheroes is something Lowery possessed early on, and he grew up playing a multitude of different sports, from soccer and golf to baseball and track and field. On Frisco’s college basketball team, Lowery could be relied on as much to break through to 3 points as he did to dive after loose balls.
“I played pretty much everything except tennis,” he said.
Harbert remembers spotting Lowery on the training ground for the first time when he was transferred to Frisco from Prestonwood Christian Academy. He was a few inches shorter and carried a little less muscle than today’s prototype Division I cornerback, but he had skills as a defensive back and an acuteness to learn cover and identify wrinkles. in the opposing attacks that stood above the rest.
“I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this guy is very different from anyone we met during my time at Frisco High,’” Harbert said.
The final part – Lowery’s football IQ – is what he attributes even more to his athleticism for his ability to read a situation and make plays that can move a game on his axis, like time against Reedy High School. last fall when he picked up a punt with three defensemen circling him on his own 30-yard line and managed to get him all the way to the goal line.
At Prestonwood, he learned to watch movies from a pair of coaches with stints in the NFL on their resumes to Omar Stoutmire and Scott Turner. They taught him what to look for in a snap before a snap and how to read a catcher’s body language to know what to do before he does it.
When Lowery started watching a movie, the little things started to get easy for him.
“In football what made me a game changer was something that happened off the pitch – it was a movie,” Lowery said. “It doesn’t matter who we play, this week I’m just starting to focus on my next opponent. Against who I’m going. I see what they are doing. You can learn a lot about a team from the movie.
In Frisco, the study off the pitch translated into it, in times such as that second half of last October when he muzzled Stewart, a longtime friend of his. Lowery had watched it on tape all week.
Lowery’s conscience and athleticism manifested great moments on all sides of the ball.
Later in that same game against Reedy, Lowery and Frisco found themselves trailing 31-27 in the last minute of the game, facing a fourth and 10 from their own 45-yard line. There was no doubt who would get the assist.
“Just throw the ball because Chase is going to have a hit,” Harbert said.
Lowery traveled a deep fade route and his quarterback looped pass to him and a pair of defensemen Reedy. When the ball arrived, Lowery threw himself over each of them and shot the ball to the 5-yard line with seconds remaining on the clock.
Frisco ran into the winning touchdown a game later.
“I passed two guys, walked in and knocked him down,” Lowery said. “It put the nail in the coffin.”
Another pivotal moment came in the second round of the state playoffs in a close battle against South Oak Cliff. Trailing 17-16 after a South Oak Cliff score, Frisco’s season was on the verge of kickoff with 16 seconds left.
“I was on the sidelines before the kick off trying to get everyone on the ball,” Lowery said. “We still have 16 seconds left. Everything can happen.”
For the first time in the entire game, South Oak Cliff kicked Lowery up and he made them pay, finding a small hole to go through and burning several defenders before being tackled at the 9-yard line with five. seconds on the counter. Set up by the return of the kick, first-year kicker Mason Stallons scored the game-winning goal at the end of the time limit.
“There’s a guy in blue that you don’t get started with in a time like this,” Harbert said. “They kicked Chase, and I bet they’re still kicking that one.”
Whether he’s defensive or special teams offensive, there is one constant with Lowery on the football field: he makes plays. At Frisco, he changed the game. He hopes to do the same with the Razorbacks in Fayetteville.
“They’re going to have a versatile athlete who can make plays,” Lowery said. “Defense. Special teams. Even offense if they need me. Wherever I am, I’ll make coins.