Denton Ryan four-star athlete Billy Bowman stars on both sides of the football. (Jeff Woo, Denton Record-Chronicle).

Football

Commitment 101: Denton Ryan athlete Billy Bowman can play offense or defense

Posted July 31st, 2019

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The litter of future Longhorns grew Wednesday when four-star athlete Billy Bowman picked Texas over 25 other offers. The 2021 prospect from Denton Ryan plays wide receiver and defensive back for the Class 5A program. Bowman is 5-10, 175-pounds and expects to start his college career on defense. His versatility and athleticism results in the possibilities to play safety, corner or nickel back on defense. He’s also a talented playmaker with the ball in his hands, and could prove to electric to move away from slot receiver.

“He’s an unbelievable talent on both sides of the ball,” said Texas-ex Alex De La Torre, now an assistant coach at Denton Ryan. “He’s fast, dangerous and instinctive, especially at defensive back.”

Denton Ryan four-star athlete Billy Bowman stars on both sides of the football. (Jeff Woo, Denton Record-Chronicle).

Bowman was a second-team all-district wide receiver as a freshman. He was a two-way starter as a sophomore in 2018, earning District 4-5A Division I co-MVP honors as a sophomore after recording 53 receptions on offense and five interceptions on defense. Bowman is the sixth member of the 2021 class and is considered a top-100 prospect in the 2021 class, per 247Sports composite. He’s the ninth-ranked athlete in the 2021 cycle.

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Skill set: Bowman is athletic enough to make an impact on either side of the ball. His future position likely depends on his development over the next two years of varsity football. Bowman was strictly a wide receiver as a freshman, catching 37 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns. He surpassed that production last year with 53 catches for 553 yards and eight touchdowns, while also recording 30 tackles, eight pass breakups and five sacks. 

His height at 5-10 means a future is more likely on defense than offense. He’d be limited to slot receiver on offense. On defense, Bowman could blossom into a nickel corner with the ability to play outside at cornerback or deep at safety. That’s the type of versatility coveted in the NFL with offenses continuing to evolve. 

Immediate impact: The trend of early commitments makes it harder to project impacts two years down the road, especially with the transfer portal looming each offseason. It’s hard to tell what Texas’ secondary looks like in 2021, but it should be loaded if the young players already on campus like Anthony Cook, B.J. Fosters and others continue their natural progression. It’s also possible that the secondary members from the class of 2018 are gone by 2021 if the NFL comes calling after 2020.  

Fitting into the program: Herman is stocking up on athletes who can make differences on either side of the football. Bowman, much like D’Shawn Jamison from the 2018 cycle, is one of those athletes that is good enough to figure out a position for later in his career. Texas wants Bowman on campus, and where he eventually plays doesn’t matter, as long as he plays. Bowman is also another recruiting victory in DFW with Denton Ryan a program known for producing top-level talent. 

Recruiting at the position: This depends on where Texas views Bowman. He’s likely viewed as a number at defensive back, meaning he’s the first defensive commitment in the 2021 cycle. The Longhorns need to load up at cornerback and safety in 2021, especially if players like Foster and Caden Sterns seem destined for an early departure to the NFL. In-state targets J.D. Coffey and Ishmael Ibraheem are among Texas’ top priorities at defensive back.   

PLAYERPOS.HIGH SCHOOLSTARSCOMMITMENT DATE
Lake McReeTELake Travis3July 9
Jalen MilroeQBKaty Tomkins4July 21
Hayden ConnerOTKaty Taylor4July 23
Juan DavisWR/TEEverman3July 26
Billy BowmanATHDenton Ryan4July 31
Derrick Harris Jr.OLBNew Caney4Aug. 3
Ja'Tavion SandersATHDenton Ryan4Sept. 8

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