Illini Trying To Make Inroads With VA WR

Fighting Illini assistant football coach Chris Beatty has many contacts in the state of Virginia, where he coached high school ball. Among those he is recruiting for the Illini is Salem wide receiver Kwamane Bowens. While recruiting is in its infancy for Bowens, the Illini have offered and have some credibility thanks to Beatty.

Kwamane Bowens has eight scholarship offers counting Illinois despite early struggles last season as a junior.

"I had a good year, but it could have been better. I had a rough start to the season, and things weren't going as I wanted them to. I just wasn't playing good football."

Fortunately, he was mature enough to learn something from the experience.

"It taught me not to get a big head and brag about what I have, and to stay humble."

His Salem High School team had a good season as well.

"We went 11-2 but lost the Eastern Regional Championship game."

The 6'-3", 185 pounder says 2012 could be even better.

"I think the outlook is really good. We are going to be a great team that will refuse to lose. We will be one tough team to beat with the kids returning."

Bowens has a lot going for him as a wide receiver.

"I would say some strengths in my game are my speed and my ability to be a threat whenever I touch the ball."

The perfectionist is never satisfied with his game. He wants to improve all aspects.

"I just want to get better at anything I can because I know every part of my game can always use a little work."

Bowens is progressing slowly with his recruitment.

"At this point, I have no favorite. The schools that have offered so far are Vandy, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Boston College, Mississippi State, Richmond, ECU and Illinois."

He is hearing from some other big schools and may receive more offers in the near future.

"Ohio State, Boston College , Pitt, USC, Miami, Purdue, Florida, Alabama and Oregon."

Bowens has a good idea what he wants in a college.

"When looking for the college and football program I want to attend, I will pay attention to its education, brotherhood, campus life, and relationship with the coaches."

That last point gives Illinois a foot in the door thanks to assistant coach Chris Beatty.

"Coach Beatty is recruiting me. He's really cool and helps me with my recruiting process by giving me tips. I think he is awesome."

Bowens admits he has spent minimal time learning about the schools on his list, and that includes the Illini. He was unwilling to say what college visits he plans to take in the future.

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