With an offense looking to take a major step forward next season, Rutgers is in pursuit of a tight end to help elevate its passing attack next season.
On Wednesday, Maine tight end Shawn Bowman entered the transfer portal. He immediately received an offer from Rutgers. The coaching staff is very familiar with the 6’5″, 255 pound pass catcher. Bowman was recruited to Maine by current defensive coordinator Joe Harasymiak, who was the Black Bears head coach at the time. Bowman redshirted in 2018, which was Harasymiak’s last season. They won a CAA Championship before he joined Minnesota as the defensive backs coach. Rutgers linebackers coach Corey Hetherman was the defensive coordinator under Harasymiak at Maine. He also recruited Bowman back then as well.
With one year of eligibility remaining as a grad transfer, Bowman could make an immediate impact at Rutgers next season. In 2022 for Maine at the FCS level, he had 30 catches for 358 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.
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.
Bowman also received an offer from Mississippi State on Wednesday. More power five offers could come and the sooner Rutgers can get Bowman on campus for a visit, the better. He has a Big Ten ready body and good hands as a pass catching tight end. His ability to adjust to blocking at the FBS level from the FCS level is key to his success wherever he ultimately lands.
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, led by Johnny Langan who had 31 receptions. Langan will be back, but adding weapons to the tight end group would be a major positive. Rutgers also has a mostly unproven wide receiving core at the Big Ten level. It’s clear Ciarrocca has made the tight end position a priority. He’s already landed two tight ends in the 2024 recruiting class, Monte Keener and Matthew Ogunniyi.
Whether Rutgers ultimately adds Bowman remains to be seen. However, the coaching staff has a long term relationship with the tight end and that certainly bodes well in their pursuit. To be continued…
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