No Act: Now Tahj Mowry’s Knocking Heads In College

By Off the BASN Sports Wire
Updated: October 27, 2004

Tahj Mowry

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A group of fans waited for Tahj Mowry to sign autographs as the Savannah State running back made his way to the team bus following a game against Florida A&M.

It wasn’t the typical treatment for a freshman from the small Division I-AA school in Savannah, Ga., but Mowry isn’t the typical college football player.

A former child actor who had appeared in his own sitcom, “Smart Guy” on the WB network, Mowry decided to move away from acting in high school and follow his desire to play college football instead.

The change of heart sent him all the way to the other coast.

Mowry made the trek from California to Georgia after visiting with coaches at Savannah State. He saw a drive and determination that was missing at other schools, and most importantly they were willing to give him the chance to play from the moment he committed.

“I like the coaching when I came on my trip, and I felt like it would be a good opportunity to go to a historically black college,” said Mowry, who has scored a two-point conversion, and rushed for 34 yards on 19 attempts this season. “I really wanted to play right when I got into college, that’s why I picked Savannah.”

New Mexico, UC Davis, Idaho, and Northern Illinois, all more prominent colleges than SSU, had expressed interest in Mowry, although Mowry said he didn’t see the same intensity to win that he noticed in the Tiger coaches and players.

But moving out of the spotlight has its pitfalls.

Savannah State is on a four-game losing skid after winning its first game against Norfolk State 41-34, a far cry from the success Mowry was used to in high school.

During his senior year at West Lake High in West Lake Village, Calif., Mowry led his team in rushing with nearly 1,600 yards en route to a perfect 14-0 season and a state championship.

“He sacrifised his whole summer, running the sand dunes, pulling tires, running in the water. He did a six-day work out,” said his father, Tim Mowry. “He’s used to coming from a winning program, and he’s struggling now with what’s going on.”

So what does Tahj Mowry do?

“He’s a little motivator behind the scenes,” said his father.

And that’s comes as no surprise. His son has always had a work ethic that’s far beyond typical, even when was still a kid.

“He’s been acting since he was 6, and playing football since he was 7,” Tim Mowry said. “His day would begin at 5, heading to the set. Then there were three hours of mandatory school before going to work till 5, back at the set, and then leave at five and drive an hour to football practice.”