By LARRY VAUGHT
Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow agreed that Kentucky signed the best player in Ohio when they landed 6-1, 190-pound Lynn Bowden of Youngstown Wednesday.
“Lynn is exceptional with the ball in his hands. He’s explosive,” Stoops said. “As you know, I grew up in the same hometown, and I can’t tell you how many people would call and tell me that he’s the best football player they’ve seen come out of that area in a long time.
“Now, I take great offense to that. But I guess I was a long, long time ago.”
It was and that was a joke. Stoops might have been good — and so was Marrow — but they were no Lynn Bowden. He’s a four-star player ranked as the nation’s No. 5 athlete by one recruiting service.
He accounted for about 3,700 yards and 57 touchdowns running and throwing as a senior.
“He’s just exceptional. He’s just dynamic. He can play a lot of positions. What also makes him special is he’s so comfortable taking the snap. As you all know, we’ve made — you know, we’ve made some great headway with the Wildcat, and with a guy like that, he’s comfortable with the ball,” Stoops said.
“You can add a few wrinkles with a guy like that because he’s good at some of the read schemes that are involved with the direct snapping and reading, whether it be the power read zone, read, just different plays where there’s some options built in where we haven’t had that luxury yet. Plus he could throw it just enough.
“He’s not going to be our quarterback or anything like that on a steady diet, but he can throw it enough to keep people honest, and that we can build off of. But he will play receiver; you may see him some in the back field at running back. He certainly could play anywhere on defense, but I think he’s the type of guy where he changes the digits on the scoreboard, so you want to put the ball in his hands as many times as you can.”
Bowden owns or shares 16 school records and is Ohio’s sixth all-time rusher with 7,387 yards and 10th in rushing touchdowns with 91. He also excels in basketball, averaging 24.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game as a senior.