After high school, Fowler attended West Virginia University where he played for the Mountaineers. He played between 1977 and 1980 as a defensive end. After retiring from professional football he married Gail Jones of Pittsburgh, Pa. To this union was born one son, Delbert DeVaughn "Booter" Fowler.
Fowler was drafted out of college in the 1981 NFL draft by the Houston Oilers. He was the fifth round, twenty-second pick.