Rutgers football landed one of the best returning FCS tight ends on Sunday as Maine transfer Shawn Bowman committed to the program.
— Shawn Bowman (@Nl_shawn8) June 11, 2023
Despite receiving multiple power five offers since entering the portal this week, the Scarlet Knights were able to lock him down based on relationships. Defensive coordinator Joe Harasymiak recruited Bowman to Maine as head coach and were there together for one season, winning the CAA Championship. Bowman redshirted that season. In addition, linebackers coach Corey Hetherman was also the DC at Maine when Bowman was recruited to Orono.
The transfer gives Rutgers a much needed weapon in the passing game. Last season, he had 31 catches for 377 yards and 5 touchdowns in just 8 games. He was named Third Team All-CAA. In two games against FBS opponents New Mexico and Boston College, Bowman combined for six catches, 74 yards and a touchdown. He led Maine in averaging 47.1 receiving yards per game and averaged 12.2 yards per reception.
In 2021, Bowman was also named a Third Team All-CAA selection. He had 24 receptions for 282 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Over 34 games spread across four seasons, Bowman finished his Maine career with 86 catches for 960 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also averaged 11.2 yards per reception.
Maine tight end transfer Shawn Bowman is a hot commodity right now. 6-5.5, 260 pounds. A true 3 down tight end w/ catch and run ability. Starting to add some big offers @Nl_shawn8 pic.twitter.com/x1LWqvNA5t
— Clint Brewster (@clintbrew247) June 9, 2023
With one year of eligibility remaining as a grad transfer, Bowman could make an immediate impact at Rutgers next season. He has the size to be an able blocker for the offense along with his pass catching ability. At 6’5″, 250 pounds, Bowman is physically ready to play in the Big Ten. It’s still a major adjustment coming from the FCS level, but there is hope he can acclimate quickly.
Bowman also received an offer from Mississippi State and interest from other power five schools. However, he was available in the portal for less than a week after committing to Rutgers on Sunday.
First year offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca is known for featuring the tight end in his system. Last season at Minnesota, tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford led the offense with 42 receptions and was second with 497 receiving yards as well as 2 touchdowns. The entire tight end group at Rutgers only had 34 catches last season. Johnny Langan led the unit with 31 receptions and will be back. Victor Konopka is now healthy and Mike Higgins has taken steps forward. However, adding Bowman to the tight end group is a major positive and puts him in line as a potential starter.
Rutgers has now added seven transfers this offseason. Bowman joins wide receivers JaQuae Jackson and Naseim Brantley on the offensive side of the ball. Each of them could play a major role in the passing game this coming fall. However, none of them have FBS or power five experience. Bowman and Brantley were all-conference players at the FCS level and Jackson was a Division II All-American. There is hope they can all rise to the increased level of competition next season and Bowman might be have the highest ceiling as a every down tight end. It’s worth the gamble for an offense needing to take several steps forward under Ciarrocca in 2023.
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