The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their Buckeye careers today as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent. Signing Day is here.
Eleven Warriors would like to officially welcome Branden Bowen to the Ohio State football program.
The Bowen File
- Class 2015
- Position OL
- Size 6-7/330
- School Corner Canyon (Draper, UT)
- Composite ★★★
- Rank 71 (OT)
When he visited Ohio State in June, Bowen felt he had a pretty good idea of what was in store between him and the Buckeyes.
"It was good," he said of his visit to Ohio State. "I loved the campus, the facilities, and especially the coaches. "Urban Meyer told me because of limited scholarships that I wouldn't be able to commit right then and there, but if I wanted to play there he would make that happen."
Two weeks later, Bowen was hearing from the Buckeyes again and was eagerly trying to plan an official visit to Ohio State.
"Urban has made it clear to me and my trainer that he wants me to be a Buckeye," Bowen told 11W. "(Urban Meyer) said he will reserve one of the offensive line spots if I want to commit. I just talked about taking [another visit] with Urban a few days ago. I'm not sure on a date but we talked about me heading out there for a night game. Ohio State said they want to watch my first game of the season and then they'll officially offer."
Perhaps it was that ambiguity, not knowing how or if he'd be able to land at Ohio State, which led Bowen to commit elsewhere — to Utah — in September. It's hardly unusual for a Utah resident to commit to the Utes, but Bowen is hardly your regular Utahan. Most aren't 6-foot-7, most aren't from Tennessee originally and most don't have a strong, pre-existing connection with a three-time national championship winning head coach in Ohio. Bowen's trainer is John Madsen, a former Utah Ute who played for Urban Meyer during his stint at the helm for Utah. Still, it was Utah that had the upper-hand, but Bowen was clear just days after his pledge that he wasn't disregarding Ohio State completely.
"I'm still considering Ohio State," Bowen shared. "I'm not shutting down my recruitment. Ohio State has always been a big deal in my thoughts. They have a great program, great players and great coaching."
The Buckeyes continued to push, led by line coach Ed Warinner; and Bowen scheduled an official visit for the weekend of November 1st. Immediately after Bowen's trip, speculation that a flip to Buckeyes was in the works began. The process appeared to be stressing the normally low-key Bowen.
Stttrrrreeesssssiiinnnngggggg...— Branden Bowen (@BrandenBowen) November 10, 2014
On November 23rd, Bowen made his decision. He was going to be a Buckeye and credited the Ohio State coaching staff for his change of heart.
"Going into the visit, I'd say the chances of a 'flip' were basically slim to none," Bowen told 11W. "The coaches at Ohio State are great. 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."
"Really, everything at Ohio State is what sold me on Ohio State."