Branden Bowen, Three-Star Lineman from Utah, Commits to Ohio State

By Jeremy Birmingham on November 23, 2014 at 8:00 pm
Branden Bowen, previously committed to Utah, has committed to Ohio State.

Branden Bowen, a mountainous offensive tackle from the mountains of Utah, has committed to Ohio State and head coach Urban Meyer today. Previously committed to the Utah Utes, Bowen officially visited Columbus during the first week of November. The Tennessee-born tackle was not thinking about a flip heading into his official visit, but the trip to Ohio State went better than he could have thought.

"Going into the visit, I'd say the chances of a 'flip' were basically slim to none," Bowen told Eleven Warriors. "But that was based on the idea that you know, I'd never been there for a game, I hadn't really been through the campus thoroughly; that's why I made the visit. When I got home, the choice was pretty difficult. The hardest part was just knowing about the distance from my friends and family. But, we've lived all over the country, moving again is not that big of a deal."

The Bowen File

  • Size: 6-7/330
  • Position: OT
  • Class: 2015
  • School: Corner Canyon  (Draper, Utah)
  • Composite Rank: 84 (OT)
  • Composite Rating: ★★★

Officially offered by Ohio State roughly two months ago, Bowen has been in contact with the Buckeyes and offensive line coach Ed Warinner for months. Ever since the official offer was extended, Bowen had worked diligently to set up his visit to Columbus despite his commitment to Utah. 

When Bowen visited with the Buckeyes in June, he didn't get a full-sized tour of what the university had to offer. He did, however, get a chance to work up-close-and-personal with Warinner and says that relationship is a major factor in his choice. Bowen trains with a former Utah Ute, John Madsen, who played for Urban Meyer in the early part of this century. That relationship helped Ohio State as well, providing some familiarity with Meyer for a player that lives not far from the school that Meyer took to a BCS game in 2005.

"I moved to Utah in June of 2005, so I missed Urban Meyer's career at Utah by about five months," Bowen shared. "My trainer, John Madsen, played for him though and he has only great things to say about Urban Meyer."

When Bowen met Meyer himself in June, he was surprised by his calm off-the-field demeanor.

"He was way more laid back than I expected," he said of Meyer. "But I would guess he's not too intense with recruits."

The official visit couldn't have gone any better for Bowen. He enjoyed every part of his trip to Columbus, but the Illinois game stole the show.

"It was great!" Bowen told Eleven Warriors of the visit. "I loved it out there. The gameday experience was great. The tradition and hype that goes into it is amazing. 'The Shoe' is unreal."

There are many reasons why Bowen decided to flip to Ohio State, but the school as a whole had the biggest impact on the decision. 

"The coaches at Ohio State are great," Bowen said. "The players on the team are just great people. The tradition there is unbelievable and from what I have seen, they have the best fans in the nation. Really, everything at Ohio State is what sold me on Ohio State. I have nothing but respect for Utah's program, but it's a night and day difference between the two places. The players at Ohio State are closer, the coaches' resumes are all impressive and it's a program that's on the verge of competing for multiple national championships. There's a tradition at The Ohio State University that is unlike any other. On top of all that, it's a great academic school that will provide me with a meaningful degree."

That doesn't mean it was easy for Bowen to go back on his commitment to the Utes – he has visited Utah twice since re-opening his recruitment – but Bowen felt it was better to do it now than come signing day. The decision was still difficult, mostly because of his relationship with Jim Harding, the offensive line coach at Utah.

"It was tough calling the offensive line coach at Utah, and letting him know I wasn't going to be going to Utah anymore," Bowen added. "Coach Harding and I had developed a good relationship since I'd committed. I respect him and their program and I know they're going to do big things in the future. It's a business decision that I'm making, and I hope the coaches and the fans at Utah understand that. I will always root for Utah and hope they do well."

The 22nd commitment in Ohio State's 2015 recruiting class, Bowen chose the Buckeyes over Utah, Colorado, Boise State, BYU, Oregon State and others. He is the fourth offensive lineman in the class, joining New Jersey's Kevin Feder, South Dakota's Grant Schmidt and Virginia's Matt Burrell, who committed to Ohio State this past Monday night

View 160 Comments