Bowen Continues to Build Relationships

Barnegat (N.J.) linebacker Manny Bowen spent the morning at Rutgers on an unofficial visit with teammates. One of the hottest prospects in the region, Bowen broke down his take on the Scarlet Knights practice and interactions with the coaching staff.

Rutgers football preaches family as the core value of its program. For Barnegat (N.J.) linebacker Manny Bowen, the message hit home hard during a Thursday morning unofficial visit.

Bowen visited alongside his head coach, Rob Davis, and teammates Sam Madden and Cinjun Erskine. He spent the morning in meetings and took in a practice as well.

"It really showed what Rutgers means when they say family," Bowen said. "I didn't just go there by myself to learn about their core values. I was there with my family. While they were talking about it, my teammates Sam and Cinjun were to the right and left of me. When they were going over it, it sunk in with what the coaches were saying. Those players coming with me really made it a welcoming visit."

Rutgers gave Bowen an on-field view for practice. He spent the time speaking with coaches and staff members including linebackers coach Bob Fraser, recruiting coordinator Tariq Ahmad and Phil Galiano of player development.

"I got a close view of everything on the field up front," Bowen said. "It was high intensity, so it was a great visit today. I had a great time meeting the coaches and getting to know more about them."

Fraser, specifically, won over Bowen during the visit.

"Let me tell you something, coach Fraser is an older guy and I was expecting him to just kind of trot around on the field and take his time," Bowen said. "As soon as we stepped on the field, it was 110 percent for that guy.

"He ran everywhere like a player. I was trying to keep up with him. Coach Fraser is a real fired up guy. You can tell he loves what he does. I loved him. He took his time with everything to make sure I understood what's going on. We were on the same page. He cared about me, and he got after it today. I'm pretty sure that's every day at Rutgers."

Bowen met Fraser briefly during a junior day visit last month. The NFL background with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and his experience as a coordinator impressed Bowen.

"His players have a lot of respect for him, and they're really obedient," Bowen said. "Just sitting on the field with him, you can tell that he's a really wise guy. When he talks, you listen. Whatever he says is just right. I trust him as a coach, and I got to know him better today. You can just see the level of intelligence and passion that he has for the game. He was in the NFL for a reason."

Bowen has seen his star rise with more than a dozen big-time offers in the last month. The Scarlet Knights were one of the first schools involved in his recruitment, and remain high on Bowen's list alongside schools like Alabama, Miami, Penn State and Notre Dame.

"Rutgers is a great school," Bowen said. "I'm interested in them as well as every other school. They're up there on my list but I still plan on continuing this recruiting process to see what everybody has to offer. That's what I plan on doing this whole summer."

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