(Photo via Chauncey Bowens, twitter)
The Gators may not be playing a high level of football on the field, but their staff sure is recruiting at a high level off of it.
Chauncey Bowens becomes the second commit in the Gators’ 2024 recruiting class, joining linebacker Myles Graham. The consensus four-star recruit also had offers from Auburn, Miami, FSU, Colorado, and West Virginia- a solid offer list for a kid who just began his junior year of high school.
You can watch his high school tape here.
The thing that pops off from the tape the most is Bowens’ vision. He’s got good feet and thus possesses strong lateral movement and juke moves, but seldom messes around with all that when he doesn’t have to. When he gets the handoff, he quickly detects the hole and goes through it. If he sees a nice-sized hole, he doesn’t dance around in the backfield waiting for an even bigger one; he’ll put his foot in the ground and go.
His build (5’11, 219) combined with that vision makes him a terrific downhill runner. He’s strong with powerful legs that keep churning even when he’s met by multiple defenders, and he’s able to bounce off of would-be tacklers. He does seem to make a conscious effort to initiate contact rather than avoid it, a no-no in most situations in the SEC, but he can be coached out of that.
Though speed is not Chauncey Bowens’ moost impressive attribute, he’s still plenty fast enough to win footraces in the SEC. Bowens competes on his high school track team, and has been clocked at 10.98 in the 100-meter dash (again, that’s meters, not yards).
Scouts do warn that Bowens will have to learn the art of pass protection at the college level. With his frame, though, I don’t expect that to be a problem, as that’s all coachable.
Bowens visited Gainesville to watch the Gators slog their way past USF, but to him, the sloppiness of the game didn’t matter. He’d been very high on Florida since the beginning of the summer, he’s built strong relationships with the Gator staff, and evidently he felt it was time to pull the trigger.