Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That's what the Intel brings. This entry details how elite TE prospect Brock Bowers feels about his recruiting afterincluding the Bulldogs in the recent release of his top eight schools.
Brock Bowers was planning on taking at least two more visits to Georgia.That was just back in February. Those were simpler times. The days we might all take for granted now.
It was when everyone's plans were planned. Before the COVID-19 pandemic unplanned everything.
The 4-star TE now ranks on the 247Sports Composite ratings as the No. 3 TE and the No. 102 overall prospect nationally. His ratings have spiked up three positional rankings and an approximate 50 slots since February.
The Napa High (Napa, Calif.) standout was a newsmaker this week with the release of his top eight schools. The Georgia Bulldogs, as expected, were in that mix.
Brock Bowers (@brockbowers17) April 5, 2020
Georgia clinched one of those top school spots on the strength of just one unofficial visit.
"I just liked Athens," he said. "I have a really good relationship with coach [Todd] Hartley. I really like what coach [Kirby] Smart is doing out there with the coaches he is bringing in and kind of the culture they have built out there."
What was the common thread with all of those eight teams?
"I think the main thing is like the relationships with all the coaches," he said. "Also just how the program the program uses the tight end and how the coaches like to use the tight end there."
Brock Bowers: Where his recruiting stands today
He took a visit to Georgia in January. It allowed him a "Junior Day" that stood out among a three-pack of trips to see Clemson, Georgia and LSU. LSU was at the White House that day. He basically got a tour of the campus and layout without any key essential recruiters as a guide.
Clemson told him it planned to only take one tight end this cycle and then took a commitment from another 2021 TE essentially right after his visit.
What has changed since then? He took another back-to-back-to-back junket to see Notre Dame, Michigan and Penn State. The Irish and the Nittany Lions were able to build off those visits by landing in his top eight.
That was the weekend before everything shut down.
"Michigan was really a hard school to leave out," Bowers said. "But just talking to my family I didn't think it was going to be the best spot just because of the location. It was super hard to leave out."
His top eight includes five schools from the Pacific Time Zone and then another three programs that are on Eastern Standard Time. Bowers felt he wasn't sure whether or not he was leaning toward either coast at this time.
"I'm not sure yet," he said. "It is all up in the air right now."
Whether he's talking about life or his recruiting choice, that answer is right on the money. Either way.
Brock Bowers: The refresh button on his rare versatility
Bowers has settled into a routine. Especially with his impressive GPA that's way north of the 4.0 mark.
"I'm usually getting up and just doing school work," he said. "All the stuff that is assigned and then going to go work out. I'm done with all my workouts and my school usually by 3 p.m. or so and then it is chill at home or chill with my friends after that."
He's been keeping his circle small. A lot of that "chill" time is spent playing Xbox on the latest "Call of Duty" video game.
"I don't think I'm losing a lot based on my speed and strength stuff," Bowers said. "I'm still able to work out a lot. Probably more now even than I would have prior to all of this. Or I would have been able to. "But also this kind of messed up our [high school] season. Because we're not going to be able to have spring practice Shoot, the California Governor even said we might not even have a football season out here."
"That's crazy. Just wow there."
His Napa High coach, Richie Wessman, played at USC and coached in the NFL. He told the Napa Valley Register about an early evalution period when he started to see what Bowers can do.
"He broke three tackles in a very impressive fashion," Wessman said. "It was like if you're playing a video game and you're pressing all the buttons. He hit the stiff arm, he hit the spin move, hit a juke and then ended with a speed burst. It was really impressive."
Lots of coaches will often say that their player might have that "X" or "speed burst" button.When you flip on this film, his conjecture is validated. Bowers does indeed have all the buttons.
That goes for a lot of things. Consider the following:
- Has a grade-point average that is approximately 4.33 in the classroom.
- His mother is a schoolteacher. Bowers hails from a family of athletes. His father was an offensive lineman at Utah State. His mother played softball in college. His older sister still does.
- The 6-foot-3 rising senior is now up to 225 pounds.
- Had a season-opening game last fall in which reeled in eight catches for 91 yards and two scores AND also paired that performance up with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
- Bowers scored touchdowns on 14 of his 39 catches as a junior in 2019. That's a ratio of reaching pay dirt on 36 percent of his catches.
- Those 39 catches also produced 1,098 yards. That meant a gaudy 28.2 yards per catch.
- He ran a 4.55 laser in the 40 and tested with a 40-inch vertical leap at an Opening regional in 2019.
- Bowers played tight end, running back, wide receiver, linebacker and punt returner for his high school team.
- He also wrapped up 25 stops, eight tackles for losses and a sack on defense as an OLB as a junior.
- In his last two varsity seasons, he has recorded 21 combined touchdown catches and over 1,700 receiving yards.
- The 4-star recruit also finished third on his team in rushing with 355 yards, including a pair of 100-yard games.
- Bowers didn't play football until he was in the fifth grade, but then he skipped his sixth grade year. There's a pattern there. He played his seventh, but then skipped his eighth grade season.
- His team didn't win a game his sophomore year. That was an 0-10 team in 2018.
- He grew up an Oregon fan. Naturally. The greatest player to ever come out of his community went on to star at Oregon and become a sixth-round pick in the NFL.
Check out his Opening testing below. The crazy part of that is he didn't train for that at all.
Brock Bowers (@brockbowers17) May 12, 2019
Check out his junior highlight reel below.
Brock Bowers: What he'slooking for in a college fit
What does he need to see to make his college decision? Does it affect the timing on his choice?
"If I can make it and I know for sure before my senior year then I will," Bowers said. "But it might be after. I'm kind of easy with whatever."
It appears the COVID-19 pandemic pause won't allow him to proceed to graduate early and enroll in January of 2021 as he had planned.
He said that he was "still up in the air" right now with his school district, too.
"Shoot I'm not sure anymore," he said. "Our school has been doing a weird thing this semester so we will see. I don't think so, though."
He had planned on taking an unofficial to Georgia this spring and then an official visit to come.
"Based on the timing right now I feel it is an official left for me with Georgia," he said. "I don't think I would take another unofficial out there. Just with that. I don't really know. But I think by the time we can go and visit again, I think the timing would be too quick."
As of now, NCAA member schools are not allowed to host prospective recruits on campus for unofficial or official visits until June 1. That is very much up in the air with this pandemic, too.
What are the essential ingredients for his decision?
"The relationships with the coaches and then the location of the school," he said. "I have to find a place where I would want to live outside of football. Then also how much of an impact I can make on the field and also the education part and the connections I can make for my life outside of football."
Distance will not be a major factor.
"When I think about I know I am going to be doing school and football and be super busy," he said earlier this year. "I won't be able to go home even if I am on the west coast."
Brock Bowers and Georgia: The connection that remains
That was his first trip to check out UGA.
"I really liked Georgia," he said earlier this year. "Athens really reminded me a lot of Napa. Like the vibe and the town and everything. That was cool."
He said it was hard to explain why he liked the visit so much. But he continued to bring up a "vibe" at UGA from both the players and coaches.
"Everyone seemed like they wanted to be there," he said. "That was the main thing I took away from all of that. It was just a good visit."
There was one part of that trip that left a distinct impression. It is what is still on his mind now.
"The first thing that comes to mind, shoot, is just the stadium like being in the middle of the campus," Bowers said on Monday. "That was pretty cool to me. That stadium is awesome out there."
He said that he talks to Hartley every day or at least every other day.
"He always just tells me how much of a priority I can be and how much value I could have in their offense and everything," Bowers said.
He couldn't come up with what he needs to see from Georgia on his next visit. He didn't have any questions in mind for his next visit.
The timeline here will be very much a wait-and-see thing.
"My preference would be to get it done before my senior year," Bowers said. "I would very much like to make that work. But if I can't, I guess it is whatever. I will just do it later and get it all figured out. At some point."
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