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App’s Rowe Named As Candidate For Broyles Award
James Rowe is in his first season with Appalachian State.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App’s Rowe Named as Candidate for Broyles Award

App State cornerbacks coach James Rowe is one of 56 candidates nationally for the Broyles Award, which honors college football’s top assistant coaches.

With App State already returning one All-America cornerback in Shaun Jolly, Rowe has made an immediate impact in his first season by helping Shemar Jean-Charles blossom into ESPN’s No. 3 breakout player of 2020 (behind BYU’s Zach Wilson and Alabama’s Mac Jones) and develop into the national leader in PBUs. The duo of Jean-Charles and Jolly is ranked as the nation’s best cornerback tandem by PFF College, while No. 3 cornerback Steven Jones has also played well, notably scoring a pick-six touchdown against Troy.

The Mountaineers lead the nation in passes defended (65 counting 11 interceptions), PBUs (54) and lowest completion percentage allowed (47.1) while ranking No. 4 in defensive pass efficiency. They rank in the top 25 in points allowed per game, yards allowed per game, defensive interceptions and red zone defense.

Rowe has been praised by his players throughout the year for his teaching of concepts and techniques learned from his time in the NFL, in the SEC and as a Division II defensive coordinator.

Before this year, he spent the previous three seasons in the NFL as the assistant defensive backs coach for Washington, where he helped cornerbacks like Quinton Dunbar, Josh Norman and Fabian Moreau rank among the league leaders in turnovers forced. In 2017, Rowe helped Washington rank third among NFL teams in completion percentage allowed and ninth in passing yards allowed.

Rowe was the defensive coordinator at D-II powerhouse Valdosta State in 2016, when VSU led the nation with 27 interceptions, and he was a graduate assistant with one of college football’s best defenses in 2015 at Florida.

Jean-Charles is No. 1 in the FBS in passes defended (17), passes broken up (16) and passes defended per game (1.7). He has 33 tackles and one interception. Jolly is fourth on the team in tackles (41) to go with six PBUs, two forced fumbles and 2.0 TFLs. Jones has 17 tackles, three PBUs and one interception for a touchdown.