BREAKING: Nation’s No. 2 LB Troy Bowles has made his college decision
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep has the latest with 4-star LB Troy Bowles. He ranks as the nation’s No. 2 LB and the No. 44 overall prospect for 2023 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. On3.com has him as the No. 2 LB and the No. 57 overall prospect.
Let’s get things straight here, first and foremost, when it comes to 4-star LB Troy Bowles.
The son of NFL head coach Todd Bowles has a football-famous last name but has more than enough game to back it up.
That’s why the college decision he was set to make today garnered so much attention. Bowles was down to a final three of Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State. He picked the ‘Dawgs.
What Georgia football is getting in Troy Bowles
Bowles certainly stands on his own, but the story here also includes his father. Todd was once a starter on the Washington Redskins 1987 Super Bowl team, worked as an assistant coach before becoming the head coach of the New York Jets in 2015.
He spent four seasons there before taking over the role as defensive coordinator in Tampa in 2019. He was promoted to head coach of the Bucs earlier this year. Prior to that, he worked his way up the ranks in the NFL in personnel offices, as a defensive backs coach and as an NFL defensive coordinator in several stops.
The 14th Bulldog commitment in the 2023 class has all that high-level defensive fundamentals and scheme knowledge wrapped up in his football DNA. A high-level football IQ is clearly there in his game, but his father has both played and coached in Super Bowl victories for his teams.
And yet the son’s junior tape really pops early and never lets up. Troy has a younger brother named Tyson, but he hits like the former heavyweight champion on film, too.
He’s blitzing off to the side. Filling gaps. Ripping down quarterbacks and throwing ball carriers around like rag dolls. It is an impressive watch.
He finished his junior year with 105 tackles, six sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two touchdowns being tasked with a variety of roles in the Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.) defense.
A short sample:
- Bowles is playing off the line as an OLB. He absolutely annihilates a slot receiver coming across the middle into his territory. It gets him pumped up and also electrifies his team. Hit rating: 9/10
- He’s dropped back into coverage as the opposing quarterback has enough time to binge watch the first season of a Netflix series with his girlfriend. The enemy signal caller finally rolls out to his left and flings the ball out the same sideline he’s rolling to. Bowles jumps the route, dives for the ball and comes away with an interception. Play rating: 9/10
- On the third play, he’s blitzing from the left side. The play goes away from him and he rolls downhill with more momentum than a Japanese bullet train. The ball carrier felt like a South Georgia sand gnat on the windshield of a Peterbilt going 95 mph down I-75 on the way to Florida. Play rating: 11/10. You will not find a more violent hit in high school football.
That’s just the first 38 seconds of a junior tape that is chock-full of those. He’s ranked as the nation’s No. 2 LB for this class by both the 247Sports Composite and the new On3 Consensus and with very good reason. The 247Sports Composite rating also places him as the nation’s No. 44 overall recruit.
No LB in the country should be expected to have better tape than what Bowles has here on film.
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Troy Bowles: What he now means for Georgia football
Bowles not only becomes the 14th Georgia commitment for 2023, but he also becomes the second-highest rated pledge in the current class.
That vaults Georgia from the nation’s No. 9 class on the 247Sports Team Composite rankings to No. 6 in the country. The ‘Dawgs are now slightly ahead of the 18 commitments to the Tennessee Volunteers for that spot.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Bowles is now also going to be linked to something else in his time as a Bulldog. That would be the greatest incoming class of prized linebackers that Glenn Schumann and Kirby Smart have ever assembled in one signing class.
It currently stands as:
- Bowles: Nation’s No. 2 LB and No. 44 overall
- 4-star Raylen Wilson: Nation’s No. 5 LB and No. 72 overall
- 4-star CJ Allen: Nation’s No. 10 LB and No. 166 overall
It must also be quickly noted here that:
1) Schumann’s board is not quite the same as the national rankings. Those are the three LB prospects Georgia has long prioritized for this cycle. The Bulldogs only offered 15 linebackers in this cycle and now hold commits from the three they wanted the most all along. The only other two linebackers that took an official visit to UGA in June have recently committed to LSU and South Carolina, respectively.
2) Allen is considerably better than his No. 10 ranking. He is clearly among the nation’s five best prospects at his position at this time. His ranking has shot up some 300 positions since late May.
That’s a pretty good tell that what Schumman has done training linebackers has been noticed. There was already a long list of Tae Crowder, Natrez Patrick, Monty Rice and Roquan Smith to consider prior to the 2021 season.
Now there is also Nakobe Dean, Channing Tindall and Quay Walker to consider there. Those three ILBs all went among the first three rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft.
To place this feat in the proper light, let’s also quickly share the goods on the LB classes that Schumman has assembled in his time at Georgia.
- 2016: 4-star Jaleel Laguins/Oconee County/Watkinsville, Ga. (Nation’s No. 10 ILB and No. 227 overall)
- 2017: 4-star Nate McBride/Vidalia/Vidalia, Ga. (Nation’s No. 6 ILB and No. 163 overall); 4-star Monty Rice/James Clemens/Huntsville, Ala. (Nation’s No. 18 LB and No. 334 overall)
- 2018: 4-star Quay Walker*/Crisp County/Cordele, Ga. (Nation’s No. 2 OLB and No. 31 overall); 4-star Channing Tindall/Spring Valley/Columbia, SC (Nation’s No. 5 ILB and No. 103 overall)
- 2019: 5-star Nakobe Dean/Horn Lake/Horn Lake, Miss. (Nation’s No. 2 LB and No. 19 overall; 4-star Rian Davis/Wekiva/Apopka, Fla. (No. 5 OLB and No. 89 overall); 4-star Trezmen Marshall/Clinch County/Homerville, Ga. (Nation’s No. 7 ILB and No. 122 overall)
- 2020: Did not sign any ILBs.
- 2021: 5-star Xavian Sorey Jr.*/IMG Academy/Bradenton, Fla (Nation’s No. 2 LB and No. 26 overall); 5-star Smael Monden Jr./South Paulding/Douglasville, Ga. (Nation’s No. 4 LB and No. 35 overall; Jamon Dumas-Johnson/St. Frances Academy/Baltimore, Md. (No. 22 LB and No. 195 overall)
- 2022: 4-star Jalon Walker/Salisbury/Salisbury NC (Nation’s No. 4 LB and No. 46 overall; 4-star C.J. Washington/Cedartown/Cedartown (Nation’s No. 11 LB and No. 135 overall); 3-star EJ Lightsey/Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald, Ga. (Nation’s No. 48 LB and No. 494 overall)
- *Seen as an OLB prospect initially when they signed with UGA
Want to see some good reasons why Bowles would join Georgia? Check out those names above. Want to know why Allen, Bowles and Wilson would all sign up to play for the same team in the same cycle? There’s no finer example than seeing Walker go in the first round and then Dean and Tindall go in the third round.
Tindall had to wait behind Dean, Rice and Walker until his senior season to get his largest share of early LB reps in Athens and he still went on the second day of the NFL Draft.
Now add Bowles to that list of luminaries. It feels within bounds to project him to elevate his game up to his father’s league after three or four seasons in Athens.
This decision also sets off a key stretch of commitment decisions for the ‘Dawgs in July. 4-star DT Jamaal Jarrett is set to make his decision on July 19. Kelton Smith, a 4-star OL from Columbus, also still intends to make his college commitment known on July 22.
Joenel Aguero, the nation’s No. 2 safety and No. 32 overall prospect in this cycle, will also commit on July 23. The ‘Dawgs are in it heavy with all three of those names.
A Bulldog sweep of those commits would then vault the ‘Dawgs up to the No. 3 class nationally for 2023.
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