A member of one of Georgia’s most famous football families will finally play for UGA.
Ridgeland two-way standout Devin Bowman committed to UGA on Saturday after introducing his mother to Bulldogs coach Mark Richt. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound speedster will play cornerback or wide receiver in college.
“Devin was all excited, and his mom was all excited,” Ridgeland coach Mark Mariakis told the AJC. “He had been (to Georgia) before and looked around. His mom hadn’t.
“It was one of those trips where the whole family wanted to get peace about the (decision), and make sure it was the right place to stay for the next 4-5 years. Devin called me after they talked to (Richt) to say ‘I’m a Bulldog.’”
Bowman picked UGA over Georgia Tech, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma State, among others. His oldest brother, Adarius Bowman, played wide receiver at Oklahoma State, and recently finished his second year in the CFL, catching 55 passes for 925 yards and six touchdowns for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Another Bowman brother, Michael Bowman, was redshirted at wide receiver this past season at BCS champion Alabama.
How do the brothers compare? “They are different athletes,” Mariakis said. “Devin is not as tall as Mike (6-4, 210). I didn’t get the chance to coach Darius (6-4, 220), but he’s a heck of an athlete, too. Devin is different kind of kid. He has that burner speed, that “next level speed” that Mike didn’t have. But they both bring different things to the table. Devin is a tremendous athlete (runs 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds) and will have a lot of success in the SEC.”
Two seasons ago, Michael was considered to be the state’s No. 1 prospect at wide receiver and went public with his desire to sign with Georgia. However, the Bulldogs did not tender an offer because they were pursuing other prospects at the position. Alabama coach Nick Saban saw an opportunity and quickly landed Michael for the Crimson Tide’s 2009 recruiting class.
Back to UGA: Devin is Georgia’s second commitment in two days, following in the footsteps of North Paulding wide receiver Chris Conley — who committed to Georgia over Alabama over the telephone on Friday morning.
“Coach Richt was in his car, going to North Carolina to watch his son [Mars Hill quarterback Jon Richt] practice,” North Paulding coach Heath Webb said. “He was excited to hear about Chris’ decision.”
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Conley caught all 81 passes thrown to him last season, finishing with 848 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Conley, has been timed at 4.42 seconds in the 40, is a late bloomer to sports, starting his football career as a freshman.
“He has a lot of things going for him, with his hands probably being his greatest attribute,” Webb said. “He has ‘oven-mitt’ hands … big, big hands which help with catching the ball.”
Wide receiver became an emergency recruiting need for Georgia after the last-minute defection of Calhoun star Da’Rick Rogers to Tennessee last February. Rogers was the AJC’s No. 1-rated prospect for the state.
UGA has six early pledges toward its 2011 recruiting class. What is most remarkable about the group? All six are homegrown talents from the Peach State — North Clayton linebacker Amarlo Herrera, Wesleyan offensive lineman David Andrews, and safeties Corey Moore of Griffin and Chris Sanders of Tucker.