This afternoon, Kentucky superstar playmaker Lynn Bowden Jr. announced he would be entering his name in the 2020 NFL Draft this spring, ending his record-breaking three-year career in Lexington.
But first, he’s planning on playing in Kentucky’s final game of the 2019 season: the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, NC on New Year’s Eve.
“I plan on entering my name in the 2020 NFL Draft,” Bowden said in a video posted on his social media pages. “This is a moment I’ve dreamed of for a long time. I want to thank my family, Coach Stoops, Coach Marrow, Coach Gran, Coach Hinshaw, Coach Smith and all my coaches and teammates for getting me to this point. My strength coaches and trainers were also there every step of the way. The Big Blue Wall, the best offensive line in America, I can’t say enough about you. And our fans, the Big Blue Nation, you took in a kid from Youngstown, Ohio and helped me become a man. See you in Charlotte.”
This season, the junior quarterback set a school record for career and single-season rushing yards by a quarterback, broke the SEC’s single-game rushing mark by a quarterback, managed the highest single-season yards per rush attempt, and delivered at least 100 rushing yards in six of his seven starts at quarterback, among numerous other individual accolades.
As a collective unit, the Wildcats won five of his seven starts at quarterback while advancing to a fourth-straight bowl game.
After the news went public, Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops addressed Bowden’s decision for the first time.
“We are very proud of Lynn and are excited for what his future holds in the NFL,” Mark Stoops said of the decision. “What he’s done for this team this season is nothing short of amazing. He deserves a lot of credit because he’s sacrificed his reps at wide receiver, a position he will more than likely play in the NFL. It’s not easy doing what he’s doing. It just proves how tough-minded, how versatile a player he has become and I think he will excel in the NFL for a long time.”
Bowden, a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award for the nation’s most versatile player, leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally in all-purpose yardage, averaging 153.0 yards per game. He is also just one of three players in the top eight nationally with rushing, receiving, punt return and kickoff return yards. Averaging 8.2 yards per rushing attempt, Bowden leads the SEC and ranks second nationally.
He also is the only player in the nation leading his team in both rushing (1,235) and pass receiving (348). He ranks 13th on UK’s career receptions list with 114 and is 18th on the career receiving yards list with 1,303 yards.
Bowden ranks fifth on UK’s career all-purpose yardage list at 4,407 yards, trailing only Derek Abney, Rafael Little, Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb. He currently has 1,297 career rushing yards, 1,303 receiving yards, 1,608 kick return yards and 199 punt return yards. He also has passed for 422 yards and two touchdowns.
Today, the junior playmaker out of Youngstown, OH earned Associated Press First-Team honors for top all-purpose player in the league. He also earned First-Team Midseason All-America honors as an all-purpose player by The Associated Press and ESPN.
In Bowden’s final performance, Kentucky will take on Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 31 in Charlotte, NC.