Branden Bowen's recruitment carries many of the same clichés and platitudes that college football fans have read 100 times. It's all about a "fit", and official visits are being planned for the fall. The story is, in most ways, the same as most. His relationship with Ohio State is somewhat different, though.
You see, Bowen, an offensive tackle at Draper (Utah) Corer Canyon High School, has an official visit to Ohio State scheduled for Sept. 6. Thing is, Bowen is yet to earn an offer from the Buckeyes. That, it seems, hasn't stopped plane tickets from being booked. Cart before the horse? Maybe. Then again, maybe not.
"This will be my second time out to Ohio State," Bowen said. "They feel pretty confident about an offer and feel pretty confident in my abilities. They say they just want to see the tape from my first game. They want to see that I can move and that my strength is up from last year. They want to make sure my movement and agility hasn't changed at all."
In addition to his initial trip to Ohio State, Bowen has visited California, Colorado, Utah, Utah State and BYU. And while he lists a total of 10 scholarship offers for the time being, the list of programs he is considering has been reduced to include just Ohio State, Colorado, Utah, Oregon State and Washington State.
"I've cancelled out all of the Mountain West schools," Bowen said. "I'm just choosing between the Pac 12 and the Big 10 schools.
Bowen hopes to schedule an official visit to Washington State in the coming weeks but remains unsure about his final three official visits. The Cougars and Buckeyes already have places carved out on his travel itinerary. The rest of the slots, however, remain up for grabs.
"I'm still trying to earn, I guess, more offers from other schools," Bowen said.
A December high school graduate, Bowen will have to expedite the final leg of his recruitment. It's a fact of which he is aware. In fact, the three-star prospect is already zeroing in on a decision date.
"I'm still looking to around December for a decision," Bowen said. "It will be late November or December. I'll have to be ready at least by December because of being an early enrollee."