Da'Quan Bowers

Former Bamberg-Ehrhardt, Clemson and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers checks on a line of youth football campers during skills drills at his youth football camp in Bamberg in June 2015.

Former Bamberg-Ehrhardt and Clemson defensive lineman Da’Quan Bowers announced his retirement via Facebook on Friday.

“The move comes as somewhat of a surprise since Bowers inked a contract extension in March to remain in Edmonton through 2019,” according to CFL.ca. As a Canadian Football League rookie last year, Bowers appeared in 14 games, recording 17 defensive tackles, one special teams tackle, seven quarterback sacks and one interception.

Friday on Facebook, the 28-year-old Bowers posted:

“After months of prayer and thinking, I have decided to hang up my cleats. Football has taken me places I never imagined. I’m at PEACE with this decision as it is what is Best for ME. I look forward to this journey as I embrace the challenges to chase my new goals outside of being a player. I’m thankful to GOD who has allowed me to play this game at a professional level with the talents he blessed me with, my fans, my family, my friends and everyone who has supported me through this journey over the past 20 years.”

He further wrote: "I’m forever Grateful to the Tampa Bay Bucs for giving a little boy from Bamberg SC a chance to live a dream!! Edmonton Eskimos I thank you for embracing me with open arms and signing me to a 2 year extension this past March after only a season with your team. ...

“I am forever in debt to the game of football."

Bowers was rated as a top prospect in the 2008 high school class. At Clemson, he earned All-American honors as well as top defensive awards such as the Bronko Nagurski. He was ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 after leading the nation in sacks with 15.5 and 26 tackles for loss.

Entering the 2011 NFL Draft, he was picked in the second round (51st overall) by the Buccaneers, where he spent five seasons. He appeared in 40 games, recording 69 tackles and seven quarterback sacks.

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