Stanford has a commitment from its second Minnesota player of this class, and once again the Cardinal have netted a big offensive body. 6'6" 230-pound tight end Patrick Bowe, Jr. has verbally committed to Stanford and head coach Buddy Teevens to join the freshman Class of 2004. This commitment is a little different from some of the others we have celebrated in recent months here on The Bootleg, however, in that Bowe is announcing his intentions to walk-on initially at Stanford.
Though Bowe reported early offers from MAC mid-major schools like Bowling Green, Miami (OH) and Toledo, and though schools like Wisconsin and Duke promised offers if he would visit them, he felt like the only passionate and sincere attention he received came from Stanford and the Ivies.
"There was not any sincere interest from other big time D-I programs," the new Stanford commit opines. "Harvard, Princeton, and Yale were the Ivy schools that I visited and the ones that showed the most interest, but Stanford was the overall best fit for me. Stanford does a great job of combining top notch academics and athletics. It has a great campus, student body, and faculty. I enjoy the coaches and players and feel that the program is on the verge of good things."
"Patrick's goal has always been to combine elite academics with strong football," says father Pat Bowe, Sr. "And while the Ivies have great academics and strong programs, and probably an earlier and better opportunity to play, he wants the chance to play D-I bigtime football and does not mind starting at the bottom as a walk-on."
An important factor that helped Bowe feel so comfortable with Stanford as an option, despite the lack of a scholarship at this time, was the personal and relentless recruitment by Buddy Teevens. The Cardinal head coach made the weekly calls to the Bowe household, and recruited the 6'6" tight end as hard as any other prospect in this class. Though Bowe will walk-on at Stanford, he was recruited as if a scholarship player. Only the commitments of Austin Gunder and Pannel Egboh to Stanford earlier this month stood in the way of his earning an offer.
Just to show you that this is not a secondary recruit who Teevens and the Stanford staff take for granted as "walk-on gravy" in this class, tight ends coach Tom Quinn is up in Minnesota this week making a final in-home visit in Minnetonka, his second trip there this month. With seven days to go until National Letter of Intent Day, you might expect Stanford's limited coaching resources to be tied up with their scholarship commits and outstanding recruits, but Bowe is being given every bit the same recruiting "love." Teevens additionally made an in-home visit in December.
This recruitment may in fact not stop at Signing Day. Without a scholarship and signed Letter of Intent to bind Bowe with Stanford, he is in theory in play for other schools to continue to recruit and sign. The only thing that holds the Minnesota high school senior with the Cardinal is his word, but it is common for verbally committed walk-ons of prominent ability and stature like Bowe to receive late scholarship offers from other schools in the winter and spring as attrition opens spots on their rosters.
So should Stanford fans be concerned about the firmness of his future on The Farm?
"I have committed to Stanford and look forward to Stanford practice this summer," he replies.
Bowe put up big numbers this past fall at Minnetonka High School, where he led the team in receiving with 28 catches for 645 yards and eight touchdowns. For a predominately running offense that put up 300 yards per game on the ground, those are fantastic stats for a receiver. They are exceptional for a tight end. Unsurprisingly, Bowe earned All-District and All-Metro honors, as well as 2nd Team All-State. He was also nominated for Minnesota Mr. Football.
25 years later, the younger Bowe will follow in his father's footsteps. Pat Bowe, Sr. was a standout blocking tight end at Stanford from 1976-1979.
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