UPPER MARLBORO, Md. -- Douglass (Upper Marlboro, Md.) hosted Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) Sept. 10 for a non-conference, crosstown matchup. Terrapin Times was on hand to scout three-star inside linebacker Marcus Bowman, a 6-foot-2.5, 225-pounder, who mainly plays defensive end at Douglass but projects as an inside backer in college. Bowman is looking at UMD, Syracuse, Marshall and a couple others.
Our take on his game is below, while an interview can be seen above:
Bowman has to prove he can transition to linebacker, but his size; athleticism; and power suggest he can be a successful college MIKE.
Physically, Bowman is almost 6-3 and has a thick, muscle-strewn frame. He has a wide base, broad shoulders and long, strong arms.
At the snap, Bowman gets off the ball well with a good first step, quickly gaining momentum. He’s a downhill defender, actively filling and attacking the gaps. Bowman is also powerful at the point of attack, possessing a punch that can sometimes stun. He’s able to throw blockers or drive them into the backfield.
Furthermore, Bowman can locate runners in the hole, using his strength and long arms to bring them down. He has good short-area quickness and nimble footwork, which aids him when working in the box. And when tracking down the line, Bowman scrapes well and doesn’t get caught in traffic, maintaining his momentum and balance.
Also, Bowman is a closer and a finisher. He’s the type of backer who seems to get faster when moving in for a tackle. Bowman hits hard too, once in awhile face-planting his man or driving him into the turf.
The Douglass product has the agility and speed to defend in space as well. He can catch runners on the edge before they turn the corner.
To improve, though, Bowman has to continue honing his fundamentals, especially outside the box. He has the athleticism to play in space, but he needs to take tighter closing angles; do a better job anticipating; use his hands more effectively; and shore up his tackling form. Sometimes Bowman strikes too high and doesn’t drive from his base, which limits his power and allows backs to gain yards after contact.
Moreover, Bowman has to improve his conditioning and gain a bit more raw speed. He flashes quickness, for sure, but he could stand to get even faster to increase his coverage area. (Right now, he’s more hashmark-to-hashmark rather than sideline-to-sideline).
Bowman could stand to do a better job reading offenses too. Sometimes he’ll get caught flatfooted or his reaction time will be a hair slow, a result of not identifying the play.
Finally, Bowman has to prove he can cover. He isn’t asked to pick up tight ends who cross his face or drop back at Douglass, but will assuredly need to do so at the next level.