Lynn Bowden has only played one season of football, but he’s already assuming a leadership role in the wide receivers’ meeting room.
As a freshman Bowden caught 17 passes for 210 yards. The only other returning receiver who caught more than 10 passes in 2017 is Tavin Richardson. Searching for playmakers to step up, Darin Hinshaw likes what he’s seen so far in spring practice.
“Lynn Bowden is doing a heckuva job,” the co-offensive coordinator said yesterday. “I’m really pleased with him after two days, being a leader and going out there and doing everything the right way.”
Doing things “the right way” has not always been easy for Bowden, because he never had to; he was just better than everybody.
“It’s no fault on Lynn or anybody else, some of these guys are so talented, they go play their whole life and they never really work out the way you need to,” Stoops said.
“He’s taken it very serious. I like the way he worked this winter. You could see he’s stronger. If you get stronger, I think it’s only going to help his explosiveness, his top end speed when he goes and plays a game, along with spring practice and just continuing to grow.”
A late arrival last summer, it took time for Bowden to get in shape, learn the nuances of his position and do it all on a consistent basis. He could not have done it without Garrett “Juice” Johnson. The senior gave Bowden feedback on the field and became his big brother off the field.
“We had a lot of older guys last year, so as much time as I played last year, I was grateful. In the beginning I was a little self-centered, but that’s behind me,” said Bowden. “I had to learn how to put the show on for all of us. They showed me the way to do that. With a year under my belt, I feel like I can do that with the younger guys that’s coming up in the receiving group.”
The young receivers room will welcome four newcomers this fall — Marvin Alexander, Allen Dailey, Bryce Oliver and Akeem Hayes. They will hear one message from Bowden when they arrive.
“We’re going head first,” he said. “We’re enthusiastic. We’re taking on every challenge, no matter what you put in front of us.”