It would be understandable if Dean Lowry walked around Georgetown's campus bitter about what might have been. It also would be understandable if he swaggered around campus grandiloquent about what is and what will be.

The former Class A/AA all-state football player from Knoxville, Tenn., went almost totally unrecruited and applied to Georgetown because some high school friends had visited and liked it. Now, he's become what 18-year Hoyas Coach Scotty Glacken calls the best Division III running back he's ever seen. A junior, Lowry could end this season as the school's all-time leading rusher.

Solid yet unobtrusive at 5-feet-11, 194 pounds, the soft-spoken Lowry can most often be found in the Georgetown weight room, at a women's volleyball game, a men's soccer game or a men's basketball game. You almost can't miss him at basketball games -- he's a cheerleader. That's right, one of the best football players Georgetown has had since the school continued its varsity program in 1970 is a cheerleader.

"I had several friends on the cheerleading team and last year they needed an alternate," Lowry said. "They asked me if I would do it. I went to a couple of practices and I liked it, so I just kept doing it. During the season I just did home games, but I went to the NCAA tournament at the end of the season and this year I'm doing the whole thing. . . . In practice and stuff, it's easy. But the first time I went out in front of all of those people I was, like, shocked."

Since his freshman season, during which he rushed for 259 yards on 83 carries, Lowry has averaged 6.6 yards on 180 carries for a total of 1,191 yards. His total of 735 yards last season was the second-highest single season performance in school history and his career total of 1,450 yards places him third on Georgetown's all-time rushing list behind Andy Murray (1,718) and John Federico (1,499).

Last week, after missing 2 1/2 games because of a deep thigh bruise, Lowry gained 147 yards in the second half of Georgetown's 30-20 win at Johns Hopkins. Today, he and the Hoyas (3-2-1) host Catholic (2-5) at Kehoe Field, starting at 1 p.m., in the annual Steve Dean Trophy game.

Lowry rushed for over 1,500 yards and scored over 20 touchdowns as a high school senior, but because he only weighed 175 pounds, he received no scholarship offers.

"People have asked me before if I play with something to prove," he said. "I'll always wonder if I could have played {in Division I}. But lately I've just been thinking there's not going to be any way of knowing, so it doesn't really matter to me anymore. I'm just playing ball because I like it and I'm having fun with it."