Lincoln Riley is the boss. Alex Grinch knows this.
Still, Grinch will make his appeal to Riley about new recruit Billy Bowman.
“He may break my heart,” Grinch said Wednesday, “and play offense.”
Count on it.
“I don’t know that I’ve seen a more dynamic athlete in the country this year than Billy,” Riley said.
To be clear, Riley and Grinch usually suggest that a player play a certain position or one side of the ball or the other. They don’t really demand it. It’s almost always up to the player.
Which means, in the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Bowman’s case, he’ll probably play both. Because he’s probably capable of playing both.
And that would be fine with Grinch.
“I only talked to him about playing defense real candidly that way,” Grinch admitted.
Bowman is electrifying on offense — the nation’s No. 1 athlete by Rivals (No. 2 by 247 Sports), No. 11 wide receiver by ESPN and the No. 1 nickel back by Sports Illustrated All-American.
As a senior at Ryan High School in Denton, TX, this year, Bowman caught 49 passes for 773 yards and 10 touchdowns and added 167 receiving yards and a score. As a junior last year, Bowman caught 17 TD passes on offense, had 55 tackles on defense and returned all three of his interceptions for touchdowns.
He’s not only elusive, he has elite breakaway speed. He picked Oklahoma over Georgia, LSU, Texas and others. He was verbally committed to the Longhorns, and his flip was obviously a huge win for the Sooners.
Riley can’t wait.
“A guy that does as many things well as any high school player I’ve seen in a long time,” Riley said. “I don’t have the first clue where he’s going to play for us, but it’s going to be somewhere. And it wouldn't shock me if he doesn’t end having a role for us on both sides of the football.
“You talk about an elite return guy. Talk about a guy offensively that could play any of the receiver positions. Backfield. Just so versatile. I feel the same way about the defensive backfield and what he could provide there.”
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