New Offer Bowen Intrigued by Terps

Barnegat (N.J.) linebacker Manny Bowen has seen his recruiting skyrocket this offseason, going from zero offers coming into his junior season to a solid 10 by the end of February. The 10th just came in Feb. 27 when the University of Maryland threw its hat into the mix.

Barnegat (N.J.) linebacker Manny Bowen has seen his recruiting skyrocket this offseason, going from zero offers coming into his junior season to a solid 10 by the end of February. The 10th just came in Feb. 27 when the University of Maryland threw its hat into the mix.

"My coach has a relationship with the defensive coordinator there, and today Coach [John] Dunn called and talked to my coach first, then I spoke to him about the offer," said the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Bowen. "I think Coach [Keith] Dudzinksi recruits my area, but Coach Dunn said it was a special situation or something, and he was happy to offer me and really wanted to get me out there to see a practice and the school. I'm interested in doing that; I'm going to take a look at Maryland."

Bowen doesn't know too much about the Terps, nor can he confirm if or when he'll visit College Park. But the Barnegat linebacker is intrigued about what UMD has to offer.

"I can't say anything yet because I haven't been to Maryland before, but it seems like they're really interested, which makes me interested in them. Hopefully I'll make it out there in the spring. I'd really like that opportunity," Bowen said. "It's a good school and I've seen a couple games on TV, and I'm interested in what they to offer.

"I know they're moving to the Big Ten, a power conference, and being able to play with all those elite players is appealing."

There's plenty of appealing options for Bowen, however. His other nine offers are from the likes of Michigan State, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and Kansas, in addition to Old Dominion and Boston College.

The Sooners actually just came in a couple days before Maryland.

"Coach Stoops loved my film and wanted to offer, and I was really, really excited about that," Bowen said. "I was like, ‘Wow, Oklahoma.' That's obviously a premier program right there. I can't wait to check them out."

Bowen will actually take his first visit of the offseason this weekend to Rutgers. RU is a hometown favorite that, despite being just a few miles away, he's never been to before.

"I can't wait to see Rutgers," he said. "It's the in-state college, and I'm excited to go over there, and they're excited to have me. They just moved to the Big Ten too, so I know it's a program on the rise that I want to check out."

Others on his radar include those two SEC offers, Tennessee and South Carolina, as well as Michigan State. He said UT came in first, and that was huge for him because it meant he could play in the power conference SEC. Of course, South Carolina and Michigan State were big too, and he had high praise for all of them.

"Tennessee, that's a school I want to visit and it's a great program," Bowen said. "South Carolina, I definitely want to see them. They've obviously had a lot of success and it's a chance to see a school with a whole lot of tradition. And Michigan State, they have an amazing defense, have had guys in the NFL and went to the Rose Bowl. I want to check them out as well."

Bowen is coming off a season where he had 68 tackles, 2.5 sacks and four interceptions. He also caught 25 passes for 479 yards and seven touchdowns.

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