The Irish baseball program received a commitment from Ohio 2019 prospect Jase Bowen on May 24.
Now the football program is interested too.
Irish Illustrated caught up with the coaching staff at Toledo Central Catholic, the same program that produced DeShone Kizer. Head coach Greg Dempsey gave rave reviews on Bower’s impact on all three phases of the game, his character and strength in the classroom.
A stroll though the 6-foot-1, 185-pound recruit’s sophomore Hudl highlights will confirm his talent. Bower is a special athlete who makes explosive plays at safety, wide receiver and in the return game.
Bowen fell in love with baseball at the age of four. But football took longer.
“Going into high school, I actually hated football, I was not going to play,” Bowen said. “My dad and the head coach, coach Dempsey talked me into playing, to try it out and see if I liked it. I ended up loving it and it became a second sport love, right up there with baseball.”
After compiling a strong season on both sides of the ball, in the return game, and as Central Catholic’s punter, the Irish coaching staff decided they’d like to take a closer look at him.
“Coach Dempsey worked hard with me and put my name out there for me and it’s been a lot of help,” Bowen said. “I’ve been in contact with coach (Mike) Elston, he’s from Ohio as well. He invited me down to the camp on Saturday to see how I move and stuff like that. I hope it works out in my favor and can be a dual sport like (Jeff) Samardzija did, or Torii Hunter Jr.”
Competing in two sports in South Bend has become a legitimate option for Bowen. He’s been mulling it over with his family for months.
“It’s been my goal since late freshman year,” Bowen said. “Me and my dad talk about it a lot. Playing football at Notre Dame would be crazy, running down in front of 80,000 fans at the games, the best fans in the country or maybe the world supporting you. That means a lot.”
While in South Bend, Bowen will get a chance to meet with the baseball staff for the first time since his commitment.
“After the camp, I know we’re going to talk with some coaches and go to the baseball side and see the new locker room that I haven’t seen yet, I’m pretty excited for that,” Bowen said.
The Irish aren’t the first program to consider Bowen as a dual-sport athlete.
“I was asked to play both at Michigan State,” Bowen said. “I talked to Ohio State, West Virginia, Michigan, Boston College, just some of the Big Ten and ACC schools (about playing both baseball and football).”
Bowen comes from a Buckeye household. His Notre Dame commitment is something they’re still warming up to.
He broke down his visit to Notre Dame and the key points that led to his commitment.
“I visited during the basketball season and I went to a basketball game and saw some interesting people that they have,” Bowen said. “I absolutely loved the environment and the fans that they have. I got the offer and the coaching staff is amazing and the college isn’t a four-year deal, it’s a 40-year deal. They set you up for life.
“It’s a great campus and something you can’t beat is the education. That’s the deciding factor me, the academic part.“