Stony Brook University running back Jordan Gowins used the biggest interview of his life to help the place that saved his.
On Wednesday, the Bellport native and eight other teammates were selected to participate at an NFL Pro Day, which essentially is a tryout in front of scouts from all 32 NFL teams.
The workout tests athletes on several strength and conditioning drills, such as the bench press and 40-yard dash. And Gowins used the spotlight to fundraise for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital — a place that is close to his heart.
“Some of these families can’t afford these bills that they have,” said Gowins, who spent a year in the hospital after nearly drowning at 10 years old.
To help the families at Stony Brook, the Bellporter hosted a Reps for Kids fundraiser, through which he collected donations for each repetition he completed on his 225-pound bench press test.
Gowins dug deep and weeks of training in New Jersey and hit 30 reps — one more than New York Giants’ sensational running back Saquon Barkley put up at the 2018 NFL Combine.
So far, the Reps for Kids raised nearly $3,000. Gowins will be accepting donations until April 3 (click here to donate.)
“I want to use the talent that I have been given to give back to these kids and these families,” Gowins said on Greater Long Island’s The495Podcast.
The 6-0, 240-pound rusher was never supposed to make it this far after almost dying at 10.
“I was pretty much pronounced dead,” said Gowins, who was under water unconscious for over 4 minutes.
The only thing he remembers was diving into his friend’s grandparent’s pool unchaperoned. He knew how to swim, so he reasons he must have hit his head.
Gowins was flown to Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, where he fell into a coma.
“I had 10 years of life under my belt and it kind of got stripped from me,” said the Stony Brook star, who rushed for nearly 1,000 yards this season as part of a running tandem
After several tumultuous months, during which doctors contemplated removing the plug on his life support, Gowins began to turn around.
A year after the accident, he was sent home in a wheelchair. He had to relearn how to walk and talk again.
The fundraising effort “means a lot to me because I know what these kids are going through,” said Gowins.
This is just the start for the NFL prospect, who looks to become the first Seawolf to be drafted by the league.
“Now that I am becoming so blessed to take this big step and maybe get a contract, I have to give kids insights on how to push through circumstances,” he said.
To learn more about Gowins and his journey, make sure to listen to his interview on The495Podcast:
Top: Stony Brook running back Jordan Gowins during his 40-yard dash. (Credit: Facebook)