Bowie committed to the Rebels well over a year ago, and the Morton, Miss., product still stands as their only four-star-or-better prospect. Yet even Bowie, the steady hand in a seemingly never-ending NCAA storm, hasn’t completely closed the door on other schools.
“Ole Miss is my school,” said Bowie, who reported for the Alabama - Mississippi All-Star Game Monday afternoon. “It’s just I’ve got other schools coming at me hard now. Right now I’m staying for Ole Miss. I ain’t looking at nobody else right now. But I’ve got five schools that I’m watching out on: Mississippi State, Ole Miss, LSU, Alabama and Miami (Fla.).”
Ole Miss recently held an in-home visit with the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Bowie, ranked the No. 97 overall prospect in the country by Scout.com and the No. 12 wide receiver. Ole Miss’ NCAA issues dominated the conversation.
“We were just talking about that they don’t really know about the punishment they’re going to have,” Bowie said. “They said something, like, the worst they’d likely get is a bowl ban. They also told me if they get into some more trouble and I sign with them, they’ll give me a full release to go to another school.”
Bowie is scheduled to visit Mississippi State Jan. 20 and Ole Miss Jan. 27. He acknowledged the only reason he’s even entertaining the possibility of not signing with the Rebels is because of the uncertainty brought about by the NCAA, though a potential bowl ban doesn’t really bother him.
“It wasn’t really, like, a negative,” he said. “If we make it to a bowl game, I’d like to play in it. But it’s not really a negative with me.”
Not helping matters is the absence of Barney Farrar, Ole Miss assistant athletics director for high school and junior college relations. Farrar was Bowie’s lead recruiter. He was placed on administrative leave in November. Ole Miss wide receivers coach Grant Heard has since taken over.
“I asked them when I was going to get to talk to coach Barney again,” Bowie said. “They were, like, he can’t talk to anybody until, like, three more weeks and stuff like that. I don’t really know yet. Barney, he was like my best friend. That meant a lot to me.”
Despite it all, Ole Miss is holding on as the school for Bowie. Still, National Signing Day is nearly two months away, an eternity in recruiting. But his relationship with the Rebels — namely head coach Hugh Freeze — will be hard to beat.
“I went in and talked to coach Freeze,” said Bowie, recalling the day he committed. “We had a good conversation. He just made me feel like I was at home.”