Manny Bowen’s recruitment to Penn State came with a lot of fanfare.
The Barnergat, New Jersey native chose Penn State over Alabama, Ohio State and Florida among a host of other traditional powers.
His first two seasons at linebacker for the Nittany Lions have been solid, but his junior year could be an opportunity to make a jump and become of the conference’s best linebackers.
Despite missing the Rose Bowl due a suspension for a violation of team rules, Bowen was fifth on the team with 65 tackles. He also proved adept at tracking down ball carriers behind the line, finishing the season with 8.5 tackles for loss, second-best on the team.
Bowen’s quickness for size is what makes him such a force at the outside linebacker position. If things start to click for him in the second season under defense coordinator Brent Pry and he’s able to play fast, expect Bowen to take a major step up in 2017.