Trieu: MSU ‘clear favorite’ for Ohio star Lynn Bowden

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Lynn Bowden

Based on the 2016 class that Michigan State signed and what the Spartans already have verbally committed in the 2017 cycle, there should not be any shortage of offensive playmakers on the roster going forward.

At the wide receiver position, the Spartans have no shortage of size and skill between freshmen Donnie Corley, Trishton Jackson, Cameron Chambers and Justin Layne, and in commits Cody White and Hunter Rison.

However, a missing piece is at the slot position, where the Spartans are looking for a playmaker who can fill the shoes of R.J. Shelton. There are several players on the board who can do that, and another one was recently added when Youngstown (Ohio) Warren Harding’s Lynn Bowden took a visit to campus and left with a scholarship offer.

As a quarterback a year ago, Bowden rushed for 1,827 yards and 20 touchdowns while passing for 640 yards. His skill set makes him a highly-desired slot recruit with offers from Penn State, West Virginia, Indiana and now Michigan State.

“He’s put on 10 pounds of muscle,” Scout’s Ohio analyst Bill Green says, “He steamrolled a couple kids (at Tuesday’s scrimmage) and he couldn’t do that before. He’s added more physicality to his game now and he’s still shifty and fast. He caught the ball really well at Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights. He’s special. There’s no doubt he’s one of the top players in Ohio.”

With his senior season right around the corner, Bowden downplays most of the recruiting talk right now.

“I’m blessed to have the offer (from Michigan State),” he said, “but I’m more focused on the season than my career going to college.”

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Still, this feels like a recruiting battle in which the Spartans are in good position to come out on top.

“His coach thinks Michigan State is in the driver’s seat right now,” says Greene. “It’s important for him to get back up to Michigan State for another visit so he can continue to get to know the staff better and vice-versa, and he should be up there again during the season.”

Another factor is sophomore running back LJ Scott, who played his high school ball at nearby Hubbard and knows Bowden well.

Greene says that, combined with what Bowden saw of East Lansing on his visit, makes the odds likely that the Spartans will add a dangerous, unique playmaker to a growing cast of weapons.

“His decision might not be made this week, but I don't think it's going to be too much further down the road,” Greene said. “I have Michigan State as the clear favorite.”

Talented in-state sophomore to visit

East Kentwood offensive tackle Logan Brown, a recruit who has an opportunity to be one of the state’s best, is visiting Michigan State on Sunday. Brown (6-6, 278 pounds) had a good summer of camps, coming away with his first scholarship offer from Wisconsin. He has since added offers from Michigan, Illinois and Central Michigan.

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Chicago Mount Carmel junior offensive lineman Verdis Brown (6-5, 300 pounds) visited for practice last Saturday and was offered by the Spartans. Brown has additional offers from Illinois and Ohio State. He started as a sophomore last season and is ranked by Scout as the nation’s No. 19 offensive tackle, No. 2 in the Midwest.

More information

Lynn Bowden profile 

Logan Brown profile

Verdis Brown profile 

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.