Spring Football: Bowman Ready To Play

STILLWATER - He wears No. 12, but he could wind up somewhere near the top of the hearts of Cowboys fans and quarterbacks this fall. Adarius Bowman is a 6-4, 220-pound wide receiver who looked like the real deal lined up in the Cowboys spread offense on the first day of spring football. Last fall he looked like the real deal lined up at the scout team quarterback, imitating Vince Young, the week of the Texas game. Bowman simply looks the part of a football player.

After sitting out a season following his transfer from North Carolina he is now practicing with the promise of playing in games this fall.

"It took awhile, but it's finally here and I can't wait," Bowman said following his first spring practice on Monday.

Bowman has experience. Rated as the fifth-best wide receiver prospect in the nation coming out of Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, Tenn., he caught a 33-yard touchdown pass in the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio, and then went on to play in all 12 games as a freshman at North Carolina. He caught 10 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns.

Bowman's was starting at receiver when his sophomore season at North Carolina ended early after a campus police search resulted in marijuana being found in his room. He was suspended and charged with possession, but later charges were dropped against Bowman. At the time of the search he had 18 receptions for 329 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 18.3 yards per catch. However, the damage was done with him at North Carolina and new OSU receivers coach Gunter Brewer convinced him OSU was the place for a fresh start. He has been a model player on the team since arriving and part of his new start includes going back to an old jersey number.

"I wore 11 when I was at Carolina, but I wore 12 in high school so I'm going back to my high school number," Bowman said of the change.

The biggest change for Bowman now is the Cowboys' offense. The no-huddle is a new experience.

"I'm familiar with it, but it is different at the same time because it's no-huddle and I'm having to look over on the sidelines," said the former high school All-American. "I'm adjusting to keeping my eyes on the guy that is giving the plays. It'll get better and I'm having fun out here."

Fun for Bowman means fun for the Cowboys offense, and in particular fellow wide receiver D'Juan Woods. The Cowboys' leading pass catcher last season with 56 receptions for 879 yards and eight touchdowns realizes that with Bowman less may mean more. Less passes for Woods could mean more success for the team, and less attention on himself because of Bowman's presence may mean more big plays for all the wide receivers.

"A.D. is a monster," said Woods. "He is a guy out there that is very physical and going to make plays. He is going to catch the ball and run people over. I think it will help the team a lot and also relieve some pressure if teams want to double cover (me). He is very physical and will make his presence known. We have a guy that can step in and make plays and take a lot of pressure off me. I just hope he will come out and make plays and do what we know he can do. That will be all the happiness and stuff I need."

"That's tough, when you have four or five receivers making plays, it's hard to key on any one guy," echoed Bowman. "D'Juan had a lot of attention on him last season being the only key player, but put some more guys out there with him and it's hard for a defense to cover all of us."

The spirit of teamwork caught on fast as five different receivers made plays during Monday's practice-ending team period on the first day of the spring. This team is so eager to improve and have success, get back to a bowl game, that no player is worried about hogging the show.

"Free time, one time, we're all trying to stick together," said Bowman. "Nobody hating on one another. We are all out here trying to make plays for the offense. It's not really who is making the play just as long as somebody is making a play."


Clinic on Friday
High school and middle school football coaches are invited to Stillwater on Friday for an Evening with the Cowboy Coaching Staff. The activites start with vewing practice, continue with dinner, and then that evening include breakout sessions with the offensive and defensive staff along with a chalk talk and social time. The cost is a bargain $15 and really covers the meal. Interested coaches can call the OSU football Oofice at (405) 744-5737.

Next Practice
The Cowboys were back in the weight room Tuesday for lifting workouts, but will be back on the field for practice on Wednesday. The helmets, shorts, jerseys non-contact practice will be on the Boone Pickens Stadium field starting at 3 p.m.

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