Hard Work Pays Off for Bowen

SEP. 11 -- UCLA is keeping tabs on the 6-7, 315-pound offensive tackle from Utah, Branden Bowen..

Branden Bowen has always been the biggest kid on the football field. In year's past, that was about all you could say about the Corner Canyon big man. He had decent feet, and ran pretty well, but nothing he did warranted a D1 scholarship. Bowen set out to change that this offseason. He began working out with former Oakland Raiders tight end, John Madsen, and Bowen added on over 40 pounds of good muscle, while increasing his quickness and explosiveness. Bowen is a lot more than just the biggest guy on the field now. More often than not, he is the best football player on the field these days.

"I feel unstoppable right now," Bowen said. "Coach Eck and John (Madsen) have transformed me as a player. When I transferred to Corner Canyon from Juan Diego, I didn't even know what a pass set was, but Coach Eck has really taught me the fundamentals and how to be great. I feel like I'm in-debt to him. I am so fortunate to have a head coach that has spent over 3 decades coaching in college and professional football. As for John, he has really taught me a lot about toughness and the mental parts of the game. He is the reason I have landed a dozen offers. I am so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to train with him."

Bowen has maintained a consistent top 3 for the past few months. He continues to remain open to all schools, but a few are still standing tall amongst the rest.

"I would definitely say that Ohio State, Utah, and Washington State are my top schools right now," Bowen claimed. "That's not to say that I'm not listening to other schools, but those are who I'm focusing on. Ohio State still hasn't offered me, but they are recruiting me hard and want me to come out on an official visit. I am looking to go out November 1st for the Illinois game or September 27th for the Cincinnati game. That's something I am really looking forward to. Ohio State is obviously one of the top programs in the country and that coaching staff is second to none."

"Washington State is the school that is recruiting me the hardest right now. I get a lot of love from Coach Leach and his staff. I hear from them every day. Some guys think that's annoying, but I love hearing from them. It's such a great coaching staff. I have set my official visit to Pullman for October 4th, when they take on Cal. I know Washington State is 0-2, but that doesn't matter to me, I'm looking two years down the road. Coach Leach has a great incoming recruiting class, and I think they will be winning a lot of football games in the near future. I love the prolific offense up there and I think it would be a really fun team to be a part of."

"Utah is a great place. Obviously, it is home for me. I have my family and a lot of friends in the area. I have loved Utah for a long time, I grew up watching the Utes, so it's hard not to be interested in them. I have a few friends that play there, so it would be cool to play with guys like Jackson Barton and Cody Barton. I don't think I'm going to take an official to the U, just because I am so familiar with the program and have been there so many times for unofficials."

Texas Tech, USC, and UCLA are a few other programs that are keeping in contact with Bowen, but he isn't confident they will offer.

"I'm hearing from some great programs on social media and stuff, but who knows if they'll offer," Bowen explained. "If one of the SoCal schools was to offer me, obviously I'd be interested, but until I get an offer, I'm not going to think about them too much. Hopefully they see that I'm making a lot of progress and I may pick up an offer or two, but I really don't think too much about that stuff."

Bowen was planning to graduate in December, but is experiencing a few issues with credits that initially transferred over from his previous high school. If he can't graduate early, Bowen isn't going to rush his commitment.

"I got screwed over on a few credits," Bowen said. "There's really not much I can do about it, I will appeal, but if it doesn't go through, then it is what it is. I have really good grades and a great ACT score, so I know qualifying won't be an issue. I was hoping to have my mind made up by November, but if I don't graduate early, I may wait it out a little longer."

After watching Bowen in person on Friday night, it is clear that he has made tremendous progress over the last 8 months. Bowen is one of the top linemen in Utah, and has the potential to become on of the top offensive tackles out West in the class of 2015. He has the ideal frame for an offensive tackle, runs well, and is developing a mean streak that has been non-existent over the past few years. Bowen blew up over the summer and could witness another flurry of offers, by the time his senior tape travels across the country.

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