Saturday, July 12, 2008

the recruit: luke bowanko

Promised yesterday, you get it today. Close enough. You oughta just be happy I do this on the weekends.

Anyway, Luke Bowanko is commit #6, and commit #6 from the state of Virginia at that. Bowanko's recruitment and commitment was about as completely devoid of drama as it's possible to be in the chaos that is football recruiting. Not even four days passed between offer and commitment - Bowanko was offered on a Monday evening and made the happy phone call Thursday afternoon.

Name: Luke Bowanko
Position: OT
Hometown: Clifton
School: Centreville
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 260
40: 4.8

ESPN: 77
Rivals: 5.6, three stars, #47 OT
Scout: hasn't bothered

Bowanko can be added to the list of fans of our rivals that jumped on board with us anyway: he is, or perhaps was, a Maryland fan.

Analysis, then. Bowanko is an offensive tackle, and at 260 pounds, that's not going to change. For Centreville he plays the right side and I suspect that's not going to change either. "Athletic" is the label they've stuck Bowanko with, and that does begin to do him justice; "blazing frickin' fast" would be a better one. That 4.8 40 is ugly if Bowanko's job involved the ball in his hand, but he is a lineman, and a sub-5 40 for a lineman is crazy, even if at 260 Bowanko is a teeny bit undersized. (Another label.) In fact Rivals lists just seven offensive tackles faster than Luke. Add that to the good footwork and agility that ESPN speaks of and you have a prototypical offensive tackle.

On film, Bowanko's highlights consist mainly of his run-blocking exploits. (Side note: O-lineman highlights are often hilarious. This happens whenever the highlit lineman pancakes some poor undersized defensive end but it doesn't matter because the other side of the blocking scheme collapsed miserably. I chuckle.) My first thought was "dude needs to get lower." ESPN agrees. He plays high, and the highlights show him succeeding at this by simply outmuscling the daylights out of the kid across from him. Bowanko is probably due for some weight gain at just 260 pounds - maybe gravity alone will assist in the play-low department after that second pint of Ben and Jerry's.

What of the offer list, that favorite of recruiting measuring sticks? Rivals shows offers from FSU and BC, and this would be exciting if I could find any article, anywhere, ever, to back it up. As mentioned, Bowanko jumped on the UVA offer not even 72 hours after it came, so the process was short and sweet. There was interest, however, from most of the usual regional suspects: UNC, Tech, Md., etc. Tech lost out because of their little bitty class; Bowanko was not going to get an offer from them until their camp, which is going on this weekend. Again: Morgan Moses, and saving room for. (Moses is not camping either, however.)

So, final word? Bowanko looks good for a couple years down the road. He also looks like a great candidate for a redshirt, depending on how the depth chart shakes out. Before he sees action on an ACC field, he needs to bulk up a bit and learn to play down. Once he does, though, his athleticism should take him far, and defensive ends far out of the play.

No comments: