"I knew Alabama was the right place for me."

Located in the Tennessee Valley, the town of Rossville, Ga., was named after Cherokee Indian Chief John Ross. Rossville is considered a part of the Chattanooga metropolitan area. Chief Ross was quoted as stating that "Chattanooga" was Cherokee for "The Big Catch" because of the fishing on the Tennessee river.

So it should come as no surprise that Alabama has found a player from this region who they hope will make "the big catch", one that 'Bama fans remember for a long time.


Ridgeland High stand-out, Michael Bowman made a name for himself in the Tennessee Valley region by making big catches. He was named All-Region Player of the Year, was nominated for National High School Player of the Year, was named All-State, and selected to play in the prestigious Offense-Defense All-American game.

Expectations are high for Bowman's college career, and he wouldn't have it any other way.

"My goal is to go in and compete right away for starting playing time," said Bowman. "I want to help Julio, so they won't be able to double team him. At the same time, they won't be able to double team me."

Some of the same strengths that helped make Julio Jones an elite prospect last season, Bowman also brings to the table.

"My size (6-4- 210), hands, explosiveness after the catch, route running ability are my strengths," said Bowman.

To improve as and become a top receiver at the next level Bowman thinks there's one area he could improve.

"It's probably getting off the line quicker," he said. "It's good, but I know it could be better."

To stay fit Bowman is working on that explosiveness ability to bring into camp.

"I'm doing a lot of cardio," he commented. "I'm running to keep in shape, as well as weight training."

Bowman hopes to wear jersey No. 9, a number worn by senior receiver Nikita Stover this past season.

He took his official visit to the Tuscaloosa campus on January the 9th, but Bowman has been committed to UA since September 13, 2008.

"I knew Alabama was the right place for me after my visit for the Western Kentucky game," he said. "That was my first visit, and I thought it was the most beautiful college I'd ever seen. My Mom was in tears."

Bowman talks quite a bit with future teammates about big things happening when he arrives for the 2009 season.

"I talk to Julio and B.J. (Scott)," he said. "Some of the other recruits I talk to the most are Trent Richardson and Dre Kirkpatrick."

"With the team we're going to have I feel like we should win the SEC and go on to play for a national championship next year."

Bowman stays in contact with Bobby Williams and Curt Cignetti on a regular basis.

When at the Capstone, Bowman hopes to room with Pensacola, Fla. star, Trent Richardson. In the meantime, Bowman continues to focus on improving his grades.

"The first time I took the ACT I got a 14, then a 16 on the second time. I plan on taking it again on February 7th, and with an 18 will be good to go."

Bowman reeled in 37 catches for 1,075 yards and 14 touchdowns during his senior season for Coach Mark Mariakis at Ridgeland High School, Rossville, Ga.

BamaMag Top Stories