One of Georgia’s top linebackers has committed to Vanderbilt.
Nigel Bowden, a chiseled 6-foot, 237-pound linebacker from Central Macon High School, said he picked the Commodores over his runner-up, Georgia Tech, which appeared to be on the brink of offering a football scholarship. Bowden held offers from Vanderbilt, Louisville, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, while Tennessee was also very close.
“I wasn’t planning on committing today but it just felt right,” Bowden told the AJC. “I was planning on going back to Georgia Tech for another Junior Day, and then going back to Vanderbilt. But today, everything came together.
“I love the coaches. Coach [James Franklin] is so passionate about everything with football. He doesn’t really talk a lot about putting players in the NFL, like other schools do. The other ones send you mail about all the guys they’ve put into the NFL.
“Vanderbilt sends you mail talking about academics and education. Coach Franklin doesn’t want to bring up the NFL because [a low percentage] of college players make it. He said the NFL doesn’t stand for the National Football League … but for ‘Not For Long.’
Vanderbilt was the first school to offer a football scholarship to Bowden, giving him the news around this time last year during his spring practice.
“I was always leaning to Vanderbilt,” Bowden said. “I felt like Georgia Tech was kind of holding back on me. I felt like they were trying to see what another linebacker would do, with the decision he would make, and then come back to me like I was a backup. With Vanderbilt, they have always wanted me really bad.”
What about UGA? “My new head coach [at Central] was telling me that Georgia was starting to get interested,” Bowden said. “They came to the school once, maybe … not too many times. I really didn’t feel like they showed me any interest. I know they only recruit tall linebackers. I wanted to go to a school like Vanderbilt or Georgia Tech because they take smaller linebackers and I have enough size to play in their schemes.”
The Rivals 4-star recruit has a 3.55 GPA and is ranked near the top of his senior class. He had minor knee surgery last summer but was 100 percent by the start of last season.
He was also impressed with the city of Nashville.
“It’s a great city and really diverse. They call it Music City but there’s more there to do than just country music. Coach Franklin said he didn’t even like country music, and that wasn’t his thing. Everybody around Nashville is nice. I think it was voted as the city with the third-nicest people, or something like that. I love Nashville. There’s a mixture of everything there.”
Note: Just to clarify, Bowden said he did not have an offer from Georgia Tech. He was led to believe by a Georgia Tech assistant that he would likely have an offer if he met with Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson in person this spring. Bowden said now that he’s committed to Vanderbilt, he will not likely make the trip to Georgia Tech.
OVER THE WEEKEND
MARCH MADNESS, WHAT’S THAT? RECRUITING MADNESS!
WHILE YOUR BRACKETS GOT MESSED UP …
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.