New transfers hope to make a big impact on AU football



Senior defensive tackle Ja’Merez Bowen

John Margida, Reporter

The Ashland University football team has received some added help this year with the likes of impactful transfers that are contributing early in the season. Defensive tackle Ja’Merez Bowen, wide receiver Dakota Hobbs, cornerback Jacob Williams and safety Jordan Swett are just a few names who have high expectations for the season.

“We are really excited to have these transfers on the team. Bowen and Williams in particular are both impact players that make our defense better has a whole unit,” head coach Lee Owens said.

Bowen is a graduate transfer from Indiana University. He began his collegiate career at the University of Cincinnati where he was redshirted and then eventually transferred to Indiana to finish his undergrad.

Bowen’s decision to transfer to AU is a story in itself.

“I played three years at Indiana University and I was told I wasn’t going to be drafted. I was told I still had a year of eligibility but it had to be at a Division II school to boost my draft stock. That started my recruiting process again and I originally was committed to Davenport. But I looked here because I knew the defensive coordinator coach Kingsdale when I was at UC. I’m from the Cleveland area and I recently had a death in the family so I wanted to be closer to my mom. Cleveland is only an hour away from here so it worked out good ,” Bowen said.

Within the first two games this season, Bowen has three tackles overall, two solo, and one assisted. Even though Bowens stats aren’t gaudy, he is a force to be reckoned with on the defensive line and puts pressure on the opposing offense.

“He had a heck of a game against Indianapolis University. They couldn’t block him and they couldn’t run the ball up the middle. They gave up on running the ball in the middle of the field after the first couple drives of the game,” said Owens.

Junior cornerback Jacob Williams is a transfer from Tiffin University. A former alumnus of Copley High School, Williams is now reunited with his former classmate, AU quarterback Austin Brenner.

“Ashland had already recruited me out of high school. I’m really excited to be here because they have one of the best defenses around that I have seen, I can’t wait to get back out on the field,” Willisams said.

Shortly before the Eagle’s home opener against Indianapolis on Sept. 5, Williams was injured during practice. Owens is hopeful that WIlliams will return to the field in the coming weeks.

“If we had Jacob out there he probably would have had just as big an influence in the game,” Owens said. “We might not have been sitting here talking about a loss if Williams was there because they attacked the boundary corner where he would have been playing.”

“We had to start a new player on the boundary corner and Indianapolis threw the ball over to where Williams would have been playing 16 times and that hurt us,” said Owens. He is very confident that when Williams returns, he will aid the team’s defense greatly.

Junior wide receiver Dakota Hobbs is a transfer from Malone University.

After the 2018 football season, Malone’s football team was disbanded due to a restructuring process designed to eliminate a $2.5 million structural deficit leaving Hobbs without a team.
Hobbs was able to come to AU and play immediately without sitting out a year because of the disbandment. Hobbs is also the Eagles’ primary kickoff returner for this season.

Junior wide receiver Dakota Hobbs

Hobbs served as the main kickoff returner for the season opener against Indianapolis with four returns and netting 82 return yards against Indianapolis. Within his first two games for AU as wide reciever, Hobbs has accrued five receptions, 25 receiving yards, and two touchdowns.

Redshirt freshman safety Jourdan Swett is a transfer from Middle Tennessee State. Although Swett has not gotten a lot of playing time this year so far, he is expected to be a big part of the Eagle defense down the road.

Within limited playing time, Swett has one assisted tackle.

All four transfers are expected to produce positive seasons and benefit the football team in their own way. The Eagles will take the field for the third time this season against Ferris State at home on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.