We all knew that Saturday was an important recruiting weekend for head coach James Franklin and the Penn State Nittany Lions, as several recruits made a visit to Happy Valley for a barbecue and meetings with the staff. At the end of the day, the Nittany Lions picked up their 17th verbal commitment for the 2015 class. Linebacker Manny Bowen chose Penn State as his college of choice
I commit pic.twitter.com/5ZfCWxhUEE
— OverlyDedicated (@mannybowens3) June 21, 2014
Bowen, a 3-star linebacker out of Barnegat High School in Barnegat, New Jersey had been on Penn State’s radar for some time. He played multiple positions in high school, including linebacker, safety and wide receiver. While the Nittany Lions could use depth at all of those positions, his likely fit in Happy Valley will be linebacker.
Recently, Bowen has continued to pick up offers from big-time programs, with the most recent one coming this week from the Florida Gators. His impressive offer list also includes: Oregon, Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Michigan State to name a few. The Nittany Lions made an offer to Bowen on March 29 when he attended on an unofficial visit. Saturday’s visit was his first to Penn State since that day in March.
According to 247Sports, Bowen is the No. 6 recruit from the state of New Jersey and the No. 23 outside linebacker overall. He comes in at No. 332 in the overall national composite rankings.
During his junior football season in 2013, Bowen put up some monster stats, especially on defense. He recorded 68 total tackles, including 15 for a loss. He also made two-and-a-half sacks and picked off four passes and returned a fumble for a touchdown. On offense he accounted for 10 touchdowns, rushing for two and catching eight.
The Nittany Lions now have a total of 17 verbal commitments for the 2015 class and rank No. 4 in the nation. The class leans toward defense right now, with nine recruits on that side of the ball. Bowen makes the fifth Penn State recruit for 2015 from the state of New Jersey.