Notre Dame wasted no time taking advantage of the dead period now being in the rearview mirror, hosting one of the nation's best players on the first day of the now open recruiting period. Notre Dame hosted Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean linebacker Drayk Bowen, a special player on the football field and baseball diamond.
Bowen is ranked as a five-star recruit and the No. 25 overall player in the country on the 247Sports composite list, and he's also the nation's top 2023 linebacker. It was Bowen's first visit as a recruit, and the entire Irish staff made a strong impression on the talented young athlete.
"I really liked meeting the coaches and putting a face with a name and also being able to see the campus in depth and see how campus life is really cool," Bowen told Irish Breakdown. "I’ve gone to campus snd walked around once but never did anything like this."
Bowen got a chance to meet Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, who leading up to the visit made it very clear that the in-state star fit very well in the Irish defense. Freeman has been pitching Bowen on being a hybrid safety/linebacker, and today they got to dive deeper into the fit.
"It was really good and helpful," Bowen said of his meeting with Freeman. "We watched a little bit of video and he showed us some drills they do at Notre Dame such as tackling and block destruction, so that was really cool and helpful for me."
Bowen also had a chance to spend some time with head coach Brian Kelly.
"He was just talking about the criteria of Notre Dame and that I’ve worked hard to get here, to enjoy it and that I fit all their criteria," explained the 6-2, 215-pound athlete. "He also said to go visit places and remember Notre Dame."
Notre Dame is one of many June visits for Bowen, who is also visiting Michigan (June 2nd), Ole Miss (June 8th), Clemson (June 9th), Alabama (June 23rd), Auburn (June 24th) and LSU (June 25). He hopes to make it back to Notre Dame later in June or early in July.
All of his visits are being built around a baseball schedule. Bowen is also an elite baseball prospect, and he's interested in playing both sports in college. Notre Dame, of course, has a long history of standouts on the gridiron also shining on the diamond. The most recent example was Cole Kmet, a standout tight end and pitcher for the Irish.
Bowen and Notre Dame have already talked plenty about that potential with the Irish.
"They already told me that they are good with me playing both," Bowen stated. "Coach [Brian] Polian told me that today first thing, and we couldn’t see baseball because of their dead period, but said they are on board. Coach Kelly said it was okay, too."
Being from Indiana has allowed Bowen to become familiar with Notre Dame, but his dad grew up in Texas, and the pair have also spent a lot of time watching the Longhorns. Notre Dame's coaching staff isn't relying on the in-state connection and is clearly putting the full-court press on the talented in-state star.
Bowen racked up 80 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and five sacks as a sophomore for Andrean. He also forced four fumbles and recovered three from his linebacker position.
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