After playing minor league baseball for six years in the Houston
Astros' organization, R.J. Bowers embarked on a college football career at Grove
City College after enrolling prior to the 1997-98 academic year.
Four seasons later, Bowers concluded his career as one of the most-decorated players in the history of college football. Bowers became the first player in NCAA history to rush for over 7,000 yards and he finished his career with an NCAA-record 7,353 yards.
Bowers also finished as the NCAA's all-time leading scorer with 562 points and 92 touchdowns. He earned Associated Press Little All-America honors three times and twice earned AFCA All-America.
As a freshman in 1997, Bowers helped Grove City to a 9-1 record and the program's first Presidents' Athletic Conference title. He ran for 1,239 yards and earned the first of his four First Team All-PAC honors.
The next year, Bowers scored a Division III-record 34 touchdowns and rushed for 2,283 yards while helping lead the Wolverines to a second straight PAC title.
As a senior, he became college football's all-time leading rusher and set an NCAA record by rushing for 100 yards or more in 32 consecutive games. He received the Melberger Award following the season as the outstanding player in NCAA Division III football. He also earned his third straight PAC Most Valuable Player award.
Bowers played in the Blue-Gray Game and Hula Bowl following the 2000 season. He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a free agent in 2001 and then played for the Cleveland Browns in 2002 and 2003.
The College retired his No. 33 jersey in 2001.