Bowman's Stock Rising

STILLWATER – A year ago, Adarius Bowman was doing his best Vince Young impersonation as the Texas quarterback for the Oklahoma State scout team. Today, he's making a strong case for being one of the best receivers in the nation after his record-setting performance in OSU's 42-32 victory over Kansas this past weekend.

The 6-4, 230-pound junior caught 13 passes for a Big 12-record 300 yards and four touchdowns in helping the Cowboys rally for the victory. Bowman's performance earned him the Walter Camp Foundation national offensive player of the week award and the Big 12 offensive player of the week honor.

"It still feels pretty good but I'm kinda ready to practice," Bowman said when asked Monday if he was still on a high three days later. "I think once I start practicing I'll probably start focusing more on our next game. I'm feeling good right now."

It had been a long time coming for the transfer from North Carolina, who ran plays with the Cowboy scout team while redshirting last season. Although he had caught 20 passes for 443 yards and four touchdowns through the Cowboys' first five games, the OSU staff knew what he was capable of doing. He caught just 28 passes during his season and a half at North Carolina, and then spent all of last year watching from the sideline as the Cowboys struggled to a 4-7 record.

"It didn't take long (for us to realize how good he was)," Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy said of Bowman. "He was working on the scout team (a year ago) and he'd make big plays.

"He's a good player. He's not in (Hart Lee Dykes') league, but he's a good player," Gundy answered when asked if he was as good as the former Cowboy receiver who starred at OSU from 1984-88. "I think he has the potential to do just about whatever he wants. Any time you're 6-3 or 6-4, and weigh 230 pounds, and have four percent body fat, you've got good balance, and good ball skills, you've got a chance."

Bowman, who ranks first among in NCAA Division I with 123.8 receiving yards per game, gave credit to the Cowboy coaching staff for his success against the Jayhawks. The Cowboy receiver had scoring catches and runs of 54, 25, 55 and 64 yards.

"The coaches went in at halftime and made adjustments (after the Cowboys were shutout in the first half). They were playing a lot more cover four than three, and we could get them on crossing routes. It was our coaches … it was Coach (Larry) Fedora's adjustments at halftime," said Bowman.

Although it will be remembered by Cowboy faithful as record-breaking day, and will go down in the OSU record books, Bowman states that it wasn't the best game he's ever had as a receiver. He once caught eight passes for 308 yards and six touchdowns at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, Tenn.

"It felt better this time," Bowman said of Saturday's performance.

Who knows what Cowboy fans will be saying four weeks from now, but quarterback Bobby Reid believes that the second half may have been just what the team needed.

"I think that this game was a turning point for our whole team, not just our offense," said Reid, who broke the school single-game total offense record that had been held since 1989 by Gundy. "Defensively, those guys know we've got their back no matter what and they know that we're going to dig them out, and vice versa."

Gundy, for the first time all year, had to take questions Monday asking about Bowman's future. The Cowboy coach said he would tell Bowman if he believes it would be in his best interest to declare for the NFL draft after the season. But he does not believe that is the case.

"I hope (he doesn't leave for the NFL after this season). The guy came here to get an education. His momma, we told her we were going to get him an education if he put forth the effort," said Gundy. "He's not ready. He's not ready to go to the next level. He's not ready for that. He needs to be here, and he needs to be in school, and he needs to graduate and then he can go do whatever he wants. He can play for 10 years in the league, so he might as well do it after he has his degree."

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