SAN DIEGO — Patrick Rowe, an All-American wide receiver from Lincoln High School, as expected, signed a national letter of intent Tuesday to attend San Diego State University this fall.
And when he gets there, Rowe said he wants to improve immediately in one area.
"I'd like to get a little faster," he said.
That drew a round of laughter from reporters, coaches and family members who had gathered in a classroom at Lincoln Tuesday to watch Rowe and his father, Ed, sign the letter that made everything official.
Rowe is already very fast. He won the 60-meter dash in the Michelob Indoor Meet at the San Diego Sports Arena Sunday afternoon. He is the defending section champion in the 400 meters.
"Well, maybe just a little faster," Rowe said.
Rowe's speed is just one asset that made him one of the nation's top high-school recruits this year. He caught 53 passes and scored 14 touchdowns this past season. He also played defensive back and was one of the key reasons Lincoln won the section 2-A championship.
Rowe became the 15th high school athlete and 12th from the San Diego area to sign with San Diego State in the last two weeks. Another top San Diego area prospect, Tommy Booker from Vista, is expected to sign with the Aztecs in the near future.
"I'm really close with my parents," Rowe said. "I know that by choosing San Diego State, they will get a chance to see me play. I can't think of anything greater than playing football with your parents in the stands watching you. You don't have to worry about anything else."
For the last couple of weeks, Rowe has spent plenty of time worrying.
When the first day of letter of intent signing came Feb. 11, Rowe was nowhere near making a decision. He was still deciding between San Diego State, UCLA, USC and Arizona State as late as last Friday.
"As we all sat down and began eliminating schools, it just seemed that San Diego State was getting better for him all the time," Ed Rowe said. "It was a team (family) effort all the way."
Rowe's older brother, Ron, had attended Michigan State and when his career ended last year, his parents had seen him play only a few times.
"I went to San Diego State last week and sat down with an academic adviser, and he assured me I would get all of the advisement I needed to keep on track towards my goal of graduating," Rowe said. "I made my final decision Sunday afternoon when I was talking with (Aztec Coach Denny) Stolz."
Stolz said: "We're obviously very happy to have him. What we like about him is not only his ability to get deep but also the fact that he has the concentration to catch a ball in a crowd."