Tahlequah Daily Press

TDP Sports Blog

January 18, 2013

Catching up with Northeastern State LT Michael Bowie

Michael Bowie’s life is set to change in roughly four months. The Northeastern State left tackle will almost certainly be a part of a NFL training camp come August, whether it’s because he was drafted or he was signed as an undrafted free agent.

Either way, Bowie will a professional football player in a matter of weeks and days, not years.

We’re still four-plus months away from the NFL draft and it’s still anyone’s guess as to where Bowie will land — or if he’s selected at all.

Even he doesn’t know right now.

“I’ve heard I can be a third rounder to a free agent,” Bowie told the Tahlequah Daily Press in a text-message conversation on Thursday. “So I guess it’s up to me and how I play from this point on, to see were I will proceed my football career.”

My guess: Bowie is drafted on the third day of the draft (in the fourth to seventh round). I was told by a NSU coach this season that one NFL scout was so high on Bowie that “if he was still available in the third round, he wouldn’t get past us.”

Now, of course, that’s a scout talking in October with the draft a long ways off in the distance. There’s still plenty of time between now and late April for NFL teams to make up their minds on certain prospects.

What could hurt Bowie is not getting an invitation to the combine in February. A NFL prospect can make or break his career at the skills showcase in the Hoosier State, and not getting invited can almost certainly hinder one’s ability to make a name for himself.

As of right now, Bowie said the combine isn’t on his agenda.

“I haven’t been invited to the combine,” he said, “so until then, I’ll continue to train and prepare for my next opportunity to showcase my athleticism, skill and football knowledge.”

Coming to Bowie’s aid will definitely be game film. For the RiverHawks in 2012, Bowie had 47 knockdowns and never allowed a quarterback sack. Even during his time at Oklahoma State, Bowie didn’t give up a sack.

That sort of information will certainly stand out.

Bowie’s one red flag will be what happened at Oklahoma State. Before he transferred to NSU, he violated team rules at Oklahoma State and was told to explore options outside of Stillwater — basically, he was dismissed from the Cowboys.

There’s no doubt that it was a whirlwind summer for the 6-foot-5, 320-pounder from Sand Springs. But he made the most of his time in Tahlequah.

“I would describe my season as a blessing, and I’m thankful that Coach (Kenny) Evans gave me an opportunity to be a part of a good program that’s on the rise,” Bowie said.

On Thursday, Bowie was named an honorable mention selection on D2football.com’s All-American team. The case could certainly be made that Bowie deserved to be on the First Team, replacing one of five offensive linemen who played on teams that were visible in the Division II playoff picture.

But awards handed in D-II are sketchy, at best. So it’s not earth-shattering to see Bowie as a honorable mention.

On Saturday, Bowie will try his hand at warding off defensive lineman in the Raycom All-Star Classic in Montgomery, Ala. Ironically enough, one of the players Bowie will be lined up against will be former OSU teammate, Nigel Nicholas, who will be suited up, with Oklahoma’s Jamarkus McFarland, on the Stripes team. Bowie will also go against players like Oregon’s Isaac Remington, Alabama’s Quinton Dial and Damion Square, East Carolina’s Michael Brooks and Stephen F. Austin’s Willis Jefferson.

On Sunday, Bowie will be back in the weight room and the nearest fitness facility to mold himself into a potential draft pick. With that, Bowie will continue the waiting game until his life is altered months down the road.

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TDP Sports Blog

Ben Johnson has been the sports editor at the Tahlequah Daily Press since 2009. He's a Broken Arrow native and a graduate of Oklahoma State University. He's also an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs.

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