Jeff Whittaker, the head coach at Liberty High School in Youngstown (Ohio), had it pretty easy last year. Star defensive back Bradley Fletcher ended the recruiting carnival before it started by verbally committing to Iowa in April.
The coach might be in for a little more work in 2004. Fletcher's cousin Marcellus Bowman already has caught the eye of the some of the nation's big boys. He has unofficially visited Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State and Pittsburgh.
Bowman is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound wide receiver target with speed.
"Marcellus has been a little bit more visible (than Fletcher) because all of the coaches that were in last year to see Bradley," Whittaker said. "Bradley was already taken so they were jumping down looking through the list. Marcellus has been to Iowa. I would say that Iowa would be in the thick of things with him also."
But has Bowman received any scholarship offers yet.
"Unofficially, yes. Officially, no," Whittaker said. "He's only coming out of his junior year, and they're just starting on the recruiting trail right now.
"Michigan will be in this week. Michigan really likes him. They basically told him that they want him. Was it official? Well, it was almost official. He spent a day up at their camp as a sophomore and they really like him. They basically told him ‘We want you at Michigan. We want you in a Michigan helmet.' "
Hawkeye fans can hope that Bowman follows his older cousin to Iowa City. Buckeye followers hope he stays instate. Let the games begin.