Encouraged by last season's success, wide receiver Kwamane Bowens of Virginia Beach (Va.) Salem, is working to get better for next season. He is also dealing with a recruiting process which is quickly getting busier.
"This season didn't really end the way we wanted in the playoffs with a loss to Oscar Smith," said Bowens. "I got first team All-Beach District honors for wide receiver. Last year I really worked on down field blocking and this coming year I want to become a better leader, on and off the field, and be able to step up in big moments."
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound wide receiver is happy to have received some early offers from Virginia Tech, East Carolina and Richmond, and is anticipating more.
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"I like the campuses and academics at Virginia Tech and ECU," said Bowens "I'm working on building relationships with the coaching staffs but I know it takes time. I've been hearing a lot from Western Michigan, Oregon, Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, Vanderbilt and Boston College."
The suitors have been lining up for this U.S. Army National All-Combine Honorable Mention.
"Since the combine, I've heard from Ohio State and received an offer from Boston College and Vanderbilt," said Bowens. "Boston College is a new school for me. I want to go up there and see what they're all about, plus the ACC is on the rise."
Bowens likes Vanderbilt, but necessarily because the school is in the SEC.
"Vanderbilt is a good school, but it's not so much about the school, it's really all about the coaching staff and Coach Gattis," he explained. ""I have a really good relationship with him."
Coach Josh Gattis was the wide receivers coach at Western Michigan in 2011 and was announced as the wide receivers coach and offensive recruiting coordinator at Vanderbilt on January 13th, 2012.
Bowens has taken some time to talk with his advisers about what is important when considering which scholarship offer to accept.
"My parents, coaches and I think a big factor in where I go is being able to trust the coaching staff to look after me and take an interest in me," he said. "Also, a campus lifestyle where everyone can enjoy their time there is important."
Likely to receive more offers, there are a few schools in particular that Bowens would like to add to his total.
"I've really been talking to Western Michigan a lot," said Bowens. "The coaches make me feel like they'll look after me and are making me feel very comfortable. The coaches at other schools don't talk to me like the coaches at Western Michigan do. I would also like to get an offer from Oregon, Alabama and Nebraska. I've been getting a lot of mail from them and still want to take visits out there. But I'm not interested in them as much as the schools where the coaches are actually talking to me."
Bowens also shared some of his off-season plans.
"I'm going to the Nike Combine in North Carolina and maybe some 7-on-7 camps," Bowens said. "I think I'm going to plan my visits when the spring gets a little closer."