With 90 days until the first football game of the new season, it’s time to start familiarizing ourselves with next year’s freshmen. Considered one of Mark Stoops’ top recruiting classes during his time at Kentucky so far, this year’s team has the chance to be special. Leading the pack is Lynn Bowden.
Recruited as simply an “athlete” for the team, four-star Bowden played quarterback for his high school football team. He comes to Lexington from Youngstown, Ohio – which also brought the Wildcats Courtney Love and Jordan Jones. Bowden will likely be listed as a wide receiver at UK, but coaches and scouts agree that he can do much more than that. Most notably, Bowden has been compared to former Wildcat Randall Cobb, who also filled various roles for the Cats after serving as his high school’s quarterback.
“Lynn is one of the most explosive high school athletes we’ve signed at Kentucky,” said Coach Mark Stoops. “He’s extremely dynamic with the ball, a play maker who can play multiple positions.”
Bowden, the runner-up for Mr. Football in Ohio, ended his senior season rushing for 2,277 yards, throwing for 1,366 yards and accounting for 57 total touchdowns. He finished as Ohio’s sixth all-time rusher (7,387 career yards) and 10th in rushing touchdowns (91). The 6-foot-1, 190-pound athlete was ranked No. 3 in Ohio and No. 157 nationally by 247Sports.
According to Vince Marrow, Kentucky “signed the best player in Ohio,” and they got him over Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana and Nebraska. “Lynn Bowden is the best player in Ohio. Ohio was very loaded. We got what we wanted out of Ohio from top to bottom,” Marrow said.
“He’s the type of guy where he changes the digits on the scoreboard,” Stoops said.
But, if need be, Bowden could also make the transition to defense. Secondary coach Steve Clinkscale said Bowden would also make a “great corner, safety, wherever you put him at.”
This immense versatility creates the hope that Bowden will be able to take some of the pressure off Benny Snell, especially coming out of the Wildcat formation.
“He’s a guy who can throw it well enough out of the Wildcat to keep defenses honest,” said Scout.com analyst Bill Greene. “Him with the ball in his hands, it’s just amazing.”
This amazement might not be limited to the pigskin — Bowden also shines with a basketball in his hands. During his senior year of high school, Bowden averaged 24.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game. When asked if he would consider walking on for the men’s basketball team, Bowden wasn’t opposed.
“If Coach Stoops approved of that, I like to keep myself busy, so you can look out for it,” Bowden said of walking on for Coach Calipari. “I like to stay active, so if that were to be something that happened, I would be happy about that too.”