The Michigan Wolverines have been quietly assembling a talented linebacking corps in Ann Arbor, but the program is still more than a little bit lacking in terms of star power and experienced playmaking ability on that front.
The Wolverines’ projected starting LB corps for the upcoming 2021 season includes Josh Ross, Mike Barrett, and David Ojabo — a solid mix of athleticism, youth, and skill, but one that lacks a true difference-maker unless the fifth-year senior Ross can make the proverbial leap this time around.
Ross was an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selection in 2018, but that simply won’t cut it if the Wolverines are to make a run at a Big Ten title this upcoming season or a victory over the arch-rival Ohio State Buckeyes.
Wolverines, Indiana Make the Cut for Hoosier State Superstar Prospect
It’s been said that programs like Michigan don’t rebuild, they reload, but things might not be that simple with Indiana five-star prospect Drayk Bowen of Merrillville, Indiana.
Bowen is one of the top prospects in the 2023 class, and the young star recently announced that both the Wolverines and hometown Hoosiers made the cut as he decided to trim his list to twelve programs.
I want to thank all the coaches who have taken the time to recruit me and build a relationship with me and my family.
With that said, it’s time for me to begin to focus the schools I have a high interest in both athletically and academically. pic.twitter.com/b93Vhr8Z3q
— Drayk Bowen (@DraykBowen) July 10, 2021
While the state of Indiana is typically hit-or-miss for top-tier football talent, Bowen is one of the fastest rising stars in his class, ranked as the #25 overall prospect for 2023.
At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds according to 247Sports.com, Bowen is currently projected to another in-state program and stingy Midwest-based competitor for the Wolverines: the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
The website’s four Crystal Ball projections currently have him heading to South Bend, but as the post above states, it’s early in the process.
Michigan will definitely have something to say before this one is all said and done, but a lot is of course riding on their performance this upcoming season, and how Bowen sees himself fitting into new defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s system.
Bowen plays with great leverage from his OLB position, and is fast and hard-hitting.
[BREAKING: Recent Transfer Projected as Michigan’s Starting QB for 2021]
Don’t Run from me!!??? pic.twitter.com/5dnh6qXXgN
— Drayk Bowen (@DraykBowen) February 5, 2021
One thing’s for sure, however, after watching his highlight reel on Hudl.com (check out Bowen’s highlights here): the kid has top shelf talent, instincts, and physicality, and reminds me of a Jake Ryan or Chase Winovich type from his outside linebacker position who can disrupt plays in the backfield and get after any ball-carrier (or would-be ball-carrier, as Brent Musberger or other old school announcers might say), be it the quarterback or the running back.
Watch at the 48-second mark of the video to see Bowen intercept a pitch on an option play, showcasing his outstanding instincts for the position, and for causing havoc in the backfield.
It’s still early in his career and his recruitment, but this will be one to watch for Michigan fans eager for a return to the team’s glory days on the defensive side of the ball.
It’s definitely a Business Decision trying to block Drayk Bowen? Get off the tracks when the ? is coming through @DraykBowen pic.twitter.com/30S9ru9qb2
— Coach Johnson (@coachhyj) October 24, 2020