May 8 was Mothers’ Day, but that didn’t stop the Maryland staff from doing their diligence on the recruiting trail. In fact, Terps’ defensive line coach Mike London handed out a new offer to an emerging outside linebacker hybrid, who now has heavy interest in checking out College Park, Md.
“Well, what happened was Coach [Walt] Bell, who recruits my area, came to my school two weeks ago and invited me up to one of Maryland’s camps,” said Woodmont’s (Piedmont, S.C.) Davonne Bowen, a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder. “And then on [May 8], Coach London reached out on Twitter and I gave him a call. We chatted for a little bit, and then he was like, ‘You know you have a scholarship offer from Maryland.’
“And my mind was just blown. I had been talking to a couple Big Ten schools, but nothing serious – I didn’t think any of them would actually offer. So it was a blessing for me, and it was even better because it came on Mothers’ Day.”
Bowen said his conversation with London wasn’t extensive, but he learned enough about the coach and the Maryland program to have his interest piqued.
“Basically we were just talking about how I’d fit in and the plans for me there. He said the staff sees me as a ‘BUCK’ linebacker, who can rush the passer and also drop into coverage,” Bowen said. “He said that’s where he sees me fitting best, and I told him that’s where I think I fit best too. I played defensive end last year, but this year I’m going to be playing a hybrid spot at Woodmont. I think that position showcases my athleticism and what I can do for a defense.
“So I loved what Coach London was telling me, and I could tell he knew a lot about the game of football. I really enjoyed talking to him and I’m looking forward to meeting him in person.”
Other than what London imparted, Bowen admitted his knowledge of Maryland is limited to “basic football stuff.” He said he’s aware of the Under Armour affiliation and has watched the Terps on TV before.
“I’m a college football fan, so just scrolling through I’d always catch their games, so I am familiar with them from that aspect,” Bowen said. “But as far as academics and the school itself, I have to learn more.”
Although Maryland represented the 13th offer for Bowen, it was his most significant to date and the first of the power-five variety. That, in and of itself, makes UMD attractive, per the recruit.
“Even without seeing Maryland and really knowing what the school is about, the offer shoots them way up there,” said Bowen, who previously had verbals from schools like Army, Georgia Southern, Coastal Carolina, Appalachian State, Marshall, Miami of Ohio, Nevada, Towson, Elon and Furman. “They’re a top choice for me, definitely. It’s the biggest school on me, and they play in a great conference like the Big Ten. I’ll be getting up there with my parents this summer, hopefully. We’re really looking forward to it.”
The South Carolina native also admitted location wasn’t a primary factor for him. He said he had no problem playing several hours away from home if a particular institution offered the best opportunity and best fit.
“Personally, distance isn’t going to affect me,” Bowen said. “I think Maryland is, what, seven hours from here and honestly that’s not too too far.”
That said, Bowen did acknowledge he’d love to procure a hometown South Carolina offer. The Gamecocks’ staff has been in touch, and if they do eventually ante up, Bowen said they’d become a foremost contender. He’s already been through Columbia, S.C., once this offseason and will be returning in hopes of culling out the offer.
The hybrid linebacker is also receiving interest from Wake Forest and UMass, while staffers from NC State and Michigan State stopped by Woodmont recently to monitor him.
Bowen has visited Clemson, Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern and USC. In addition to a trip back to Columbia, he’d like to hit Wake Forest and Maryland in the coming months.
“Right now I’m enjoying the process and trying to see some of these new schools interested in me,” Bowen said. “I’m not ready to put one school ahead of another yet or anything like that.”