JUCO LB Wants to Crack ISU's Lineup

Iowa State will be adding some immediate help to its linebacking corps in the form of a JUCO transfer from the Kansas junior-college ranks. An even bigger bonus comes in the fact that he's got three years of Division I eligibility to use.

Garden City (Kan.) JUCO linebacker Alvin Bowen gave the Cyclones a verbal commitment Monday morning after he spent the weekend on an official visit in Ames. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder is originally from Montclair (N.J.) High School and had sat out the 2003 season before making a big impact for the Broncbusters this fall.

Bowen's playmaking ability caught the eye of Cyclone defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach John Skladany earlier this year. Bowen and Skladany renewed acquaintances this weekend in Ames, and that led to the JUCO transfer making his commitment.

"I first heard from Iowa State last spring or last fall when Coach Skladany came out to watch me practice," said Bowen said. "He said the first time he saw me that I was a guy he wanted to work with. I said the same thing when I went up there and saw the way Coach Skladany acted towards me and the way he was.

"He's the kind of coach I want to play for the next three years. He can be real serious when he needs to be and not just because he wants to be. He's real down to earth. Iowa State is where I definitely want to be. I feel at home there. I just can't wait to put on that Cyclone uniform."

Bowen's three seasons of eligibility are a huge bonus for the Cyclones, who won out over Akron, Kansas State, Cincinnati, Utah, and Toledo. The former New Jersey prep spent two years in Garden City, but competed on the gridiron in only one of those.

This fall he definitely made up for lost time. Brown racked up 79 tackles, 20 tackles-for-loss, six sacks, three forced fumbles, four pass deflections, and 27 quarterback hurries as a sophomore. He was awarded with first-team all-conference honors.

He's hoping to make as big of an impact in Ames next season.

"They laid out the opportunities and were real realistic with me, and that's what I like," Bowen said. "I have the opportunity to come in there and make a big impact on that defense. They're recruiting me to play WILL linebacker. They said if I came in there and play the way I've played and hit the way they've seen me hit, then I have the possibility of being the starting WILL linebacker."

Bowen said a number of things appealed to him during his visit to Ames, including the friendship he built with current Cyclone wide receiver Terrance Highsmith.

"As a guy from New Jersey, Terrance Highsmith helped me a lot," Bowen said. "He was my host when I came up there. I got to meet a lot of the players and Coach Skladany was real cool and I could see myself playing for him. I also loved the indoor facility, and the stadium was great. They said when it got even a little cold, they could go inside and practice."

Bowen is the eighth known commitment for the Class of 2005, and second to give ISU a verbal after making an official visit to Ames this weekend. Blytheville (Ark.) quarterback Brice Beck committed to the Cyclones while on his visit.

AllCyclones Top Stories