As the Nittany Lion defense prepares for the 2017 season, returning linebacker Manny Bowen is preparing to make a statement for the blue and white.
Bowen was recruited from Barnegat (Barnegat, NJ) in the Class of the 2015. The outside linebacker received offers schools such as from Oregon, Florida, Virginia, and Cincinnati, but ultimately chose Penn State.
In 2015, Bowen was one of five true freshmen to see playing time, appearing in 13 games along with 13 special team tackles.
The Bowen File
- Class: Junior
- Size: 6'1 / 214
- Pos: Outside Linebacker
- School: Barnegat (Barnegat, NJ)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 261
In his sophomore year, the young linebacker was a vital piece of the puzzle for Linebacker U, a unit that struggled continuously with injuries to Jason Cabinda, Nyeem Wartman-White, Jan Johnson, and Brandon Bell. Bowen started 12 games for the Nittany Lions and was one of backbones of another strong Penn State defense. He also did work in the classroom and was awarded as an Academic All-American.
Why He's a Name to Know
Although Bowen’s 2016 was a success, it ended on a somewhat sour note as he and junior wide receiver Saeed Blacknall were suspended from the Rose Bowl because of a violation of team rules.
As he looks to put that behind him and focus on the upcoming season, he’ll do so with plenty of experience around him in the linebacker unit. If he continues to play like he did in 2016, he’ll be instrumental for the defense.
While the Nittany Lions have a host of weapons on the offense, the defense will have to work just a bit harder as the team looks to defend its Big Ten Championship.
Bowen will undoubtedly be one of the keys to those efforts. With another year of experience under his belt, as well as his incredible skill set, the junior linebacker figures to become a leader on the field. There is little doubt that he'll be out there for the first defensive snap of the season.