GLASGOW – Tanner Bowles watched the Alabama/Texas national championship game in 2010 and was drawn to the SEC powerhouse.
"Just looking at Alabama and seeing the Crimson Tide, I just always thought it would be a dream come true to be able to play for them, and I never once thought it would come true until probably a few years ago," Bowles said.
What was once a fantasy has become a reality for Bowles, a former Glasgow High School offensive lineman who was decorated with numerous awards and recognitions while helping lead the Scotties to deep postseason runs the past two years.
Bowles enrolled early at Alabama this semester after finishing his senior season with Glasgow. The rising Crimson Tide freshman played during Alabama's spring game last month, and he said Wednesday after a weight-lifting session in the GHS football facility that he's enjoyed his first few months with one of the nation's top collegiate football programs.
Naturally, Bowles conceded he was nervous when he first headed to Tuscaloosa.
"After getting there and getting a chance to play with the other guys, that nervousness went away," he said. "I feel right at home. I feel like I can play with them. There was really no stress with me after the first month."
Bowles said he's been impressed with Alabama's coaching staff.
"They're all business, which is what I was looking for. I didn't want a coach that would be buddies with me. I wanted a coach that would treat me like a man. If I'm doing something wrong, tell me how to fix it. So I've enjoyed talking to the coaches whenever I can," he said.
Among his accolades, Bowles was named to the 2018 Associated Press Kentucky High School First Team Offense. Of course when you play football at a school like Alabama, there are plenty of blue-chip prospects on the roster.
"The one thing that Alabama always talks about is that once you get there, all those stars you have are dropped," Bowles said. "You really have a clean slate when you get there. What makes you the greatest player is the work you put in."
The lineman said he's not focused on playing time right now, or whether or not he will redshirt this season. Instead, he's concentrating on getting better as a player.
"It's a position where you have to develop over an extended period of time," Bowles said. "It's just about gaining weight, getting stronger in the weight room and learning the technique."
There's also a thick playbook to learn.
"Just this spring, I've probably learned over 50 plays," Bowles said. "It's been pretty hectic, but I've enjoyed it."
Bowles will be heading back to Alabama for classes later this month, but he plans to walk in Glasgow's graduation line May 30. Some Glasgow supporters, including his former coach, Jeff Garmon, made the trip down south to watch him play during the spring game.
"Everywhere I go, there's always someone saying they hope I do the best I can and they're praying for me," Bowles said. "It's a humbling experience to know that you have so many people behind you."