The adjectives have been wore out on New Mexico Military Institute's, Zack Bowman. Brilliant, blazing, even "Bouyah" has crossed a mic or two. Considering the two years he spent in junior college, though, it would be hard to argue with all those and more.
Just in this last year as a Sophomore for NMMI, Bowman once again showed that if you want versatility at its best, here he is and you can simply stop looking.
On offense, Bowman caught 2 balls. Not impressed? Both went for touchdowns, one a 75-yard score.
In the return-department, once again, Bowman didn't get a lot of touches and while he didn't score, it'd be hard to argue with an almost 20-yard average returning punts and returning kicks, over 41 per.
On defense, well, that's where Bowman really shined as if this wasn't luminous enough.
41 tackles, 26 of them solo.
A forced fumble
A blocked kick
An eye-popping 16 pass break ups
And, 6 interceptions for a total of 139 yards, one of those taken back to the house
Good enough to get him on the All-American list as an honorable mention and first team All-Conference.
Just to give you a little personal insight into Zack, though, and how engrossed he is with his numbers, he forgot one of his touchdowns on an interception, shorted himself about 15 tackles, didn't mention the blocked kick and also forgot to bring up that small issue of being an All-American.
"I like the numbers." Zack said. "I use them to gauge what I want to do next year, because I just want to get better one year to the next."
They are a gauge, yes, but certainly not what Zack will bring up if you talk to him about what he does so well. "You can't get caught up in all that." Bowman said. "The numbers are good and something you can be proud of, but they don't do a thing for you in the next game."
Unfortunately, Zack's standout performance did little to help a team that struggled most of the year, grabbing just 2 victories on the season. You can probably thank the overall team results for why Bowman wasn't tabbed for the first-team All-American slot rather than honorable mention.
That's water under the bridge, though, and has been, so what's been going on lately has been recruiting.
Yes, I know, Bowman is a Nebraska commit, but you know as well as I do that when you put up numbers like this, just because you said yes to someone else, the others aren't likely to say no. In fact, Bowman said that following his commit, once his name and film starting really getting out around the country, the recruiting attention got a little crazy.
"I had to unhook my phone for awhile." Zack said. "Everyone was calling all the time. LSU, Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio State and more than I can count. My coach was handling most of that, because I just didn't want to deal with it."
He did plug through it, but you have to wonder that did there ever come a time or was there even now times where he wondered about his commit to the Huskers. Was he still solid for NU? "It got hard, but the hardest part was when I said no to Bobby Bowden." Zack said. "That's the team I grew up watching and just loved as a kid."
"Even after I got off the phone with him, I just banged my head on the table, wondering what I just did."
What he just did was turn down his dream school from when he was a child. But, it was consistent to what he had done with every coach before and since.
My only curiosity is that when you see so many recruits that can't make up their mind for more than one day, how did this young man who's been getting the gamut of attention before and since his pledge to the Huskers way back in September, keep on that same track.
"Coach Busch had a lot to do with it." Zack said of linebacker coach, Bill Busch. "We have developed a great relationship over this time and he has called me whenever he can. Plus, I love Lincoln. I mean, it's just a great town with great people that are about as nice as you are ever going to meet."
"Between all that, the fans, everything they are doing for the future, I knew it was the place for me. I know that is going to be a great place to play."
Like I was saying with his fellow junior college teammates that are coming in, in 2005, Zack is going to be a late arrival. Signing in February, Bowman doesn't expect to arrive for good until around the month of May.
NU fans usually cringe when they hear that, recent experiences telling them that when junior college players come to campus in the Summer versus almost straight out of school, they usually aren't ready to play.
Bowman is already prepared to make sure that won't happen to him. "I plan on coming down there to work out with the team during the Spring if I can." He said. "I want to be down there as much as I can, before I move down there for good."
"I think it's important to get to know everyone as much as possible, because when practice hits for next season, it's time to get down to business."
The obvious idea here is that Bowman is going to start, Zack saying that he's been told that the expectations are of him being slotted opposite the other starting corner, Fabian Washington.
Zack has those expectations and more. "I'm coming there to start." He said. "I know that it takes hard work, dedication and the ability to learn quickly, but when the first game comes, I plan on being out there for the first defensive snap of the game."
There's still a long road before that arrives and in the meantime, Bowman will do what he's done up to this point. Work out, go to school and try and convince those schools still recruiting him that he's not going anywhere else.
It's ok, though, Zack is used to it by now. "There's not as many as there were, because most get the fact that I am going to Nebraska." He said. "But, I am still getting recruited by coach Stoops (Oklahoma) and some from LSU."
"It will be nice when it's all over, because I've moved on and I'll be glad when they do to."