Bowles picks UofL over UK

Hunter Bowles narrowed his college choices to Louisville, Kentucky and Marshall. Wednesday morning, the 6'6, 245-pound tight end from Glasgow, Ky., chose the Cardinals over the Wildcats.

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Hunter Bowles narrowed his college choices to Louisville, Kentucky and Marshall.

The 6'6, 245-pound tight end from Glasgow, Ky., did extensive research on his finalists. Bowles made a visit to Louisville for the Cardinals season-opener against Murray State, and checked out the scene in Lexington when the Wildcats hosted Louisville two weeks ago.

Wednesday morning at Glasgow High School, Bowles said, ‘thanks, but no thanks,' to Kentucky's Joker Phillips, announcing his decision to play for Charlie Strong's Cardinals instead – something he told last Thursday he was going to do.

"Louisville stood out because their tight end situation, they really use their tight ends well and it's a position of need after Josh Chichester graduates," Bowles told "I just think it's a real good opportunity for me to come in and get playing time early which will give me good experience for my sophomore, junior and senior years. Plus, Coach Strong is really getting that program back on top and I want to be a part of that."

A three-sport standout who also plays baseball and basketball, Bowles, who runs a 4.8 forty, caught 23 passes for 350 yards and six touchdowns as a junior.

"A lot of people don't realize this, but dad has been Louisville since day one," said Bowles. "My dad played baseball for Kentucky and everybody thinks my dad has been Kentucky since day one. But he understands Coach Strong has everything going for him.

"This whole thing had to do with family. I've got family that lives in Louisville. If you put all the pieces together it just seems like the right fit for me. I guess the final decision was the (Governors Cup) game and being able to compare the teams and how they use the tight ends. It was an eye opener. My heart is with Louisville and there's no need for me not to commit myself to them and have another tight end commit."

A physical tight end and good blocker, Bowles fills a major need for Louisville. The Cardinals, who utilize the tight end prominently in Mike Sanford's spread-attack, lose starting tight end Josh Chichester after this season and Strong has made the position a major 2012 recruiting priority for the Cardinals.

"He's the total package," Glasgow coach Rick Wood said. "Once he's able to concentrate all his time on one sport and commit all of his time to football and the weight room that's going to make him a more explosive athlete.

"He moves well, he has tremendous hands. I know he had over 50 catches going into this year so he catches the ball really well. All the people that have recruited him have talked about him as a tight end. During his sophomore and junior year people talked about him playing offensive line, but when he went to their camps this summer and they saw him move and his hands they recruited him as a tight end."

Bowles, who plays on both sides of the football, is a big reason Glasgow has started the season 6-0 and has a chance to challenge for the Kentucky Class 2-A state championship this year.

"Hunter is a bright kid and has a great sense of humor," Wood said. "He has a great personality and one of those guys that understands how to take care of business in the classroom. You don't have to worry about Hunter because he always does what he's supposed to do. He's a well-liked kid who takes care of his business."

Bowles becomes Charlie Strong's 15th commitment for next year. He's the second player from Kentucky to commit to the Cardinals, joining Bowling Green offensive lineman Joe Manley.

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