Border Battle For Bowens

With four scholarship linebackers graduating after the 2007 season, the linebacker position is one of the top priorities for South Carolina in this recruiting class, and the Gamecocks are hoping to land one of the Tar Heel State's elite prospects in Garner (NC) outside backer Reggie Bowens. Read inside for more.

Bowens, who measures in at a solid 6'2" and 210 pounds, claims offers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Clemson, and East Carolina, but the athletic linebacker has had two teams atop his list for the past few months.

"North Carolina and South Carolina are still my top two," said Bowens. "I really like both programs."

The 2008 standout shared what he likes about each of his two favorites:

South Carolina - "I like the talent they've got coming in. I think they're going to have a great team, plus they have good coaching. Coach (Brad) Lawing is my recruiter, and he‘s a pretty good coach. I saw him recruit Chris Culliver last year, and he‘s a cool coach."

North Carolina - "They have good coaching, and I think Butch Davis has a good plan coming in at North Carolina."

Culliver, who was one of the jewels of South Carolina's 2007 recruiting class, is a friend and former teammate of Bowens at Garner, and Bowens said Culliver is doing his best to get him to join him in Columbia.

"He's in love with South Carolina. He tells me everything that's going down at South Carolina, trying to encourage me to go there too. He wants me to go there with him."

Another factor that could potentially work in USC's favor is that Tony Morgan, Bowens' current teammate, favors the Gamecocks, and the two have expressed an interest in playing together on the next level.

"We've talked about going to the same school. It'll sort of depend on who we both like the same amount."

With a border battle developing for Bowens' services, the defensive stalwart will look for a few key factors to differentiate between his top two schools.

"I want to choose a school with a nice overall campus, a place where I can get playing time, and where they have a good coaching staff and good academics."

While Bowens' teammate, Morgan, plans to wait until after his senior season to officially make his college choice, Bowens said he will likely have a decision made before the fall.

"I'm thinking I'll have a decision by the end of the summer."

Bowens said he plans to attend's May 12 combine in Charlotte, and after recently being timed running several impressive forty yard dash times at his school, he will have the opportunity to show out at the combine.

"In our practices, I've been running straight 4.4's, but I'm waiting to get that in a combine."

Bowens said he will play both running back and safety in his senior season with the Trojans, but with his frame, he is being recruited mostly as a linebacker for the college level. Bowens, who reports a 35-inch vertical leap, was on hand for NC State's spring game two weekend's ago, and he plans to attend camps at Miami, South Carolina, North Carolina, and NC State this summer.

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