YUKON — In eight years as Yukon's head football coach, Todd Wilson has built the program into a regular playoff contender, reaching the postseason four straight years.
And the Millers have done it all without a single NCAA Division I signee.
But that's changing.
Offensive lineman Tyler Bowling and defensive end Andre Dowuona-Hammond have each received D-I offers. And Bowling, at 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds, is adding to his list on a regular basis.
The big left tackle has 10 offers from FBS and FCS programs, led by the likes of Oregon State, Tulsa, Wyoming and Ohio. Outside of Division I, Harvard and Penn have joined the mix as well.
It all started with his size. That drew instant attention.
But Bowling has spent the last 18 months proving to college coaches that he can play, too.
“A lot of my teammates like to joke that I'm just getting offers because I'm big,” Bowling said. “But I don't think so. My strength is pass blocking. I definitely want to improve on my run blocking and finishing plays.
“After last season, I started to realize this (getting D-I offers) was possible. It's been exciting with every school that comes around and ever offer I get.”
During Wilson's tenure, a only couple of players have D-I scholarship opportunities at lower-level programs and none have signed. Others have walked on. But Bowling's recruitment among major programs has reached a level that no Yukon football player has seen since Oklahoma State signed running back Richard Schwarz 15 years ago.