PENDLETON — The Buckaroos’ quarterback, Nick Bower, cemented the next step in his football career Tuesday by committing to Pacific University.

The senior started building a relationship with head coach Keith Buckley and the rest of Pacific’s coaching staff since his junior year, and the amount of interest from Buckley played a key role in Bower’s decision.

“It felt like home,” Bower said regarding his visit to the campus in the heart of Forest Grove.

Pacific is a Division III school about 320 miles from Pendleton. Buckley, who is the only coach the Boxers have had since reviving the football program in 2010, has a 23-16 overall record and has gone 16-11 in conference play over the past four years.

Bower’s efforts off the field and in the classroom, earned him a $18,000 scholarship. The Pacific Presidential Scholarship is a merit based scholarship awarded to students each year, which Bower was given behind a 3.78 GPA and 1180 SAT score.

Bower and receiver Shaw Jerome, who committed to Western Oregon in December, will be hosting a signing party on Feb. 7 at Big Johns Pizza.

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