The Longhorns have been rolling on the recruiting trail as of late and have sprinted to a fast start with their 2021 recruiting class. Players like Jalen Milroe and Hayden Conner have embraced the roles of playing ace recruiters and it is evident that recruits are listening to the message.
Momentum is a real thing in recruiting and when you have it, you want to ride that wave as long as possible and maximize your reach to the best of your ability. You never know who will get that warm fuzzy feeling and decide that they are ready to make their decision and climb into the boat during that wave.
Billy Bowman is elite playmaker who holds almost thirty offers already before playing a snap as a junior in high school. To say he is in-demand would be a huge understatement. Bowman received an offer from Texas last month, but given the number options he had, he wasn’t pegged to be in a rush to commit. After Bowman camped at Texas for the Stars at Night camp, he told reporters he planned on making a return trip to Austin for the LSU game and could possibly drop a top-schools list after the season. Didn’t sound like someone who was in a hurry to commit with those kind of statements.
I think it is safe to say that things changed in a hurry and that the Texas staff pressed the right buttons, because Bowman is now the latest addition to the 2021 Texas Longhorns recruiting class.
Name: Billy Bowman
Position: ATH (WR/CB)
High School: Ryan
City & State: Denton, TX
40-yard time: N/A
2018: 53 catches, 553 yards (10.4 YPC), 8 TDs, 30 tackles, 1 TFL, 8 PBU, 5 INTs (3 TDs), 1 FF, 1 FR (1 TD)
2017: 37 catches, 358 yards (9.6 YPC), 4 TDs
|Three Best Traits:
Elite Ball Skills/Ball Production – Whenever the ball comes his way, he makes plays. He tracks the ball well in the air, attacks it at the high point, and more times than none comes away with it.
Versatile Playmaker – Bowman is a legitimate two-way player either in the slot or at defensive back and could project to either side of ball at the next level. I could see the coaching staff fighting over who will get first dibs.
Mental Processing/Football IQ – Just feels like he is playing the game a few frames ahead of everyone else and knows how to put himself in position to make plays time and time again.
|Three Worst Traits: Solid Not Spectacular Size – This is a nitpick personally given he has a solid, sturdy frame, but at 5’10, 175 his size is passable, but not extraordinary.
Raw Router Runner – If he has any intention of playing offense at the next level he is going to have to improve as a route runner and be able to diversify. A lot of touches via bubble screens on tape.
Tackling – Needs to improve his tackling technique and needs to be more physical.
Billy Bowman is a four star ‘athlete’ prospect out of Ryan high school in Denton, TX. Bowman is a three-phase player, as a slot receiver, cornerback, and return specialist that shows that he can by dynamic and impact the game in more than one way. At 5’10, 175 pounds Bowman possesses solid size and good, athletic frame that should allow him to continue to fill out as he continues to develop. As a receiver, Bowman shows the ability to be dynamic, but at the same time shows room for considerable growth. Bowman displays a natural set of hands and shows good burst and acceleration once he has the ball in his hands. Bowman is very elusive in the open field and displays good vision and COD. Bowman displays the ability to get north and south in a hurry and shows that he can exploit the smallest of creases in a defense and turn it into an explosive play. At this stage in his development, Bowman is still very raw as a route runner and is often featured on bubble screens and jets sweeps. Bowman does show some vertical routes in arsenal that allows him to stretch defenses vertically, but he needs to continue working on becoming more complete route runner if he wants to stick at receiver at the next level. On the defensive side of the ball, Bowman shows he can be an instinctive playmaker. Bowman lines up at corner and shows quick feet and fluid hips that allows him to stay in the hip pocket of receivers on consistently and his ability to accelerate lends him the ability to make up any kind of lost ground in a hurry. Bowman really shines when the ball is in the air, as he tallied a fantastic amount of ball production in 2018, as he notched eight pass break ups to go along with five interceptions, with three of those being returned for touchdowns. Bowman also forced a fumble and returned it for a touchdown. Bowman’s instincts are consistently on display, as he always able to place himself in the right position to make plays on the football. At times some of the plays he was able to make reminded me a bit of when I watched Caden Sterns a couple years ago. On top of being a playmaker on offense and defense, Bowman provides value as a returner on special teams. As previously stated, Bowman is very elusive in the open field and his stop and start ability makes him a tough out when in space. Bowman’s ability on kickoffs and punts should allow him to find his way to the field early once he hits campus.
Being able to get a player of Bowman’s caliber in the boat this early is a huge boon for the Texas staff, and it continues the wave of momentum for the 2021 recruiting class. The staff moving Bowman off his timeline and getting him to commit this early shows they are learning from previous cycles and that will continue to pay dividends moving forward.
With Bowman’s commitment in the books, the focus now shifts to five star running back Bijan Robinson who is set to announce on Friday and then four-star safety Chris Thompson, who announced this evening that he is pushing his decision to Sunday. Texas is squarely in the thick of things for both Robinson and Thompson, and it shouldn’t be surprising if Texas is ultimately able to reel in both.
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