Cowan is following in the footsteps of his older brother, Bobby, who as an All-American punter for the Vandals and who holds most UI punting records. Cowan was a first-team all-Greater St. Helen’s League player as a senior and a preseason all-state selection by the Tacoma News Tribune, and subsequently the paper’s all-state choice at receiver, defensive back and punter. He caught 55 passes for 798 yards as a senior and carried the ball 25 times for 213 yards. As the punter, he averaged nearly 40 yards per kick. He also served as Union’s placekicker.
“He’s a stud; he an absolute stud,” said his high school coach Cale Piland in a Tacoma News Tribune story. “It doesn’t matter where we put him. The best way I can describe him is that he’s a football player. We roll with him.”
Petrino like that aspect of Cowan as well as his ties to the University of Idaho, which is parents and grandparents attended.
“He’s big. He’s a great athlete and he can catch the ball well,” Petrino said. “I really like the way he can catch the ball with his hands away from his body and then he does a good job running with it after the catch.
“He’s another Vandal in the family. That’s always great to have.”