Drae Bowles played linebacker for the first time in his high school career last season. Suffice to say, the Jackson (Tenn.) Jackson Christian junior fared quite well.
"He was all-state," Jackson Christian coach Matt Underwood said.
For good measure, Bowles also was more than a little solid on the other side of the ball. As a receiver, he recorded 50-plus receptions for 14 touchdowns and more than 1,100 yards.
Article Continues Below
Thus far, two programs have offered - Tennessee and Arkansas. The Volunteers made the move last spring; Arkansas pulled the trigger Monday. According to Underwood, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Bowles, a three-year starter, also is hearing from Cincinnati, Georgia and Virginia.
Right now, Bowles has no favorite.
Because he also is playing basketball, he has yet to attend any college junior days.
"When you get the attention from the in-state school, that's always big," Underwood said. "But I think he's definitely trying to take it all in right now and look at all the different schools."
Which position will Bowles play in college? That's a question Underwood can't answer yet.
"I think Drae sees himself as a receiver, and ultimately if he had a choice that's what he would play," Underwood said. "But he told me the other day, 'If they want to play me at linebacker, I'll do that to get on the field.' He's the type of kid with the right attitude. He'll put all his heart into it, and do whatever the coaches ask him to do.
"He's got a lot of upside on both sides of the ball to be honest. I don't know what he'll end up playing. I think people will start off recruiting him at receiver first, but he may grow into a linebacker or strong safety. [Tennessee coach Derek Dooley] told me how Drae's body progresses will determine what position he plays."
As of today, the coach thinks Bowles is better at receiver.
"He's a little more comfortable playing at receiver," Underwood said. "He's got strength and he's physical. He's a big, strong kid, and is explosive off the ball. He's got good straight-ahead speed and he's a tremendous blocker."
Some of those skills apparently also help Bowles at linebacker.
"He's so physical and he has got the size," Underwood said. "He'd be able to hold 225 (pounds) easy. He's all muscle and has the frame to hold it. He's fast and physical. Once he learns the finer points of playing outside linebacker, I think he could really be good at that position."