What numbers would you expect from a tight end on a high school team that runs a predominately running wing-T offense? How about when that team runs for more than 300 yards per game? High school tight ends are far too often in these kinds of offenses and can only demonstrate their blocking proficiency on film to college coaches.
But Patrick Bowe, Jr. (Minnetonka, MN) had such an exceptional season in both receiving and blocking that he was named 2nd Team All-State and nominated for Mr. Football in Minnesota. Though his team ran the ball 80% of the team, he managed to catch 28 balls for 645 yards. I know a lot of college tight ends that would kill for those numbers in passing oriented offenses. Bowe was in fact such a sure-handed receiving target that his Minnetonka HS quarterback threw nearly three quarters of the teams passes to the 6'6" 230-pound senior.
Stack that on top of his academic number (3.95 GPA, 1400 SAT, 32 ACT, 1st Team Academic All-State), and you have a prime Stanford recruit. Indeed, Bowe has been personally recruited by Cardinal head coach Buddy Teevens, who has placed the NCAA-allowed weekly phone calls for the last several months. Teevens made an in-home visit to the Minnetonka home in December, while tight ends coach Tom Quinn was in the home a week ago. Bowe has been out to Stanford several times, with unofficial visits last year for the Spring Game, overnight summer football camp, plus the Notre Dame game in late November.
If the Bowe name rings a bell, that is because his father, Pat Sr., was a standout for the Cardinal 25 years ago (1976-79). He was a fantastic blocking tight end for Stanford, and you may surmise that this recruitment and personal treatment by Teevens is a courtesy favor for a legacy recruit.
The younger Bowe has been offered by Duke, plus several Midwestern "mid-major" schools like Bowling Green, Toledo and Miami (OH). The bigger powers in the region picked up their recruitment the last couple months, with Minnesota and Iowa State making hard pushes. Wisconsin pleaded for an official visit and said they would offer him if he would just give them a visit. But academic priorities from both father and son have taken this a different direction.
"I've always wanted elite academics," the younger Bowe explains. "I want a world class education, and we think it could be good for me to be far from home."
To that end, he took official visits in December to Duke and Harvard. The first visit weekend of January he trekked to Princeton, and then January 16 took his official trip to Stanford. Bowe was scheduled to visit Notre Dame this weekend, but cancelled the trip this week.
"I've decided not to take the Notre Dame trip," Bowe confirms. "They wanted me to walk-on where they already have a lot of tight ends, or take a grayshirt."
Duke has made a strong push and put their money where their mouth is with an offer, but the Blue Devils appear to be on the outside looking in for this final decision.
"Duke just isn't the kind of program I want to get into," the recruit allows. "They're a losing program, and I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel for them."
With a self-professed eye on "elite" academics, it is unsurprising that Bowe is passing up scholarship opportunities from the Big 10, ACC and MAC to instead choose between Stanford and Harvard. Bowe has been accepted already at Stanfod, Princeton, Harvard and Yale, so this pick is free and clear for him without any admissions fears. A factor that would have pushed the Cardinal over the top weeks ago would have been a scholarship offer, but that has not worked out.
"He has not been offered a scholarship and Coach Teevens has been very direct in their two offers they had out to Austin Gunder and Pannel Egboh," the elder Bowe explains. "Teevens says he really likes Pat's height and potential to get bigger. They know he can catch well, having had him at camp and having seen several game films. Teevens said he would like to have Pat on the roster."
Both Gunder and Egboh have given verbal commitments to the Cardinal, which puts Bowe into a recruited walk-on situation. Financially that is a wash with Harvard, though the Minnesota tight end would have an opportunity to earn a scholarship through performance and hard work during his tenure at The Farm. On the other side of the ledger, the level of competitiveness at Harvard would yield faster playing time for the Crimson.
The 6'6" tight end says that education can't very well distinguish one of these two schools from the other, so he sees four criteria remaining for his decision:
- "How do I feel on the campus."
- "How do I interact with the players and coaches."
- "What is my likelihood of playing early."
- "Where can I help myself get to the next level."
Campus feel and interpersonal interactions are difficult for us to evaluate from the outside, but playing time is a common theme across just about all recruiting stories we see. The question of where Bowe would fit in Stanford's roster is one he has examined closely with Teevens.
"Coach Teevens has been very straight forward with me," the recruit states. "He said how soon I play is up to me. There are no pre-made decisions based on scholarships or walk-ons. The best players play. He certainly has recruited me as hard as anyone else."
As for his feel for the campus, Bowe has had ample opportunities through his numerous unofficial visits to gather that. The official visit he took last weekend instead was focused on the people he may or may not choose to be his future teammates.
"There wasn't really anything new about the campus for me," the Minnesota man admits. "What was nice was getting to know the players and how they interact. Mike Macellari was my host. I felt like he was a great guy. They put a real emphasis on looking out for each other. 'Count on me.' They live that out not just in games, but taking care of each other in the weight room or at parties."
That visit, plus the promise of a chance to play high-level Division I football, appears to give the Cardinal an edge over the Crimson at this time.
"I'm pretty sure I'm close to a decision," the nationally recruited tight end reveals. "I need to make a few more calls to relatives and people at Stanford and Harvard, but I'm leaning toward Stanford. I think I'm pretty close to done."
The "walk-on" label is an unfair one that too often connotes lesser players, but make no mistake that Bowe is a highly recruited player. His commitment would be big news for the program, and of course a welcome return for the next Bowe to Stanford's tight end lore.
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