Welcome to Black Shoe Diaries' coverage of National Signing Day 2015. We're here to make sure that you know exactly who the newest Nittany Lions are, where they come from, and what we can expect of them. Each of these reports will include their vital information, their high school statistics, highlight tape analysis, outlook for their freshmen seasons and more. We sincerely hope you enjoy getting to know the stars of tomorrow. If you've been reading along with our recruiting coverage all year, we appreciate the support and are glad you hung around with us for the ride that was the 2015 recruiting class. If you are a new reader, welcome! We're glad you're here, and we hope you stick around for 2016!
To navigate your way to other members of the 2015 recruiting class, simply head back to our draft board and click on the player of your choice.
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Nick Bowers originally committed to Pitt's Paul Chryst a year before his signing day, back when Penn State was still under sanctions and James Franklin had limited scholarship numbers to give out. But PSU always showed interest, and when the scholarship sanctions were reduced, Bowers got his offer. His consideration of the Nittany Lions took a serious turn--and after his visit during the Ohio State white out, it was only a matter of time before he flipped to the blue and white.
We have a new Nittany Lion! Welcome, @Nbowers28. #PSUSigningDay pic.twitter.com/r3McQhFIOY— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) February 4, 2015
Hometown: Kittanning, PA
High School: Kittanning
247Composite Rank: ★★★ (0.8594)
Positional Rank: #23 Tight End, #15 Player in Pennsylvania
Commitment Date: January 26, 2015
247 Crystal Ball:
High School Stats
Unfortunately, Maxpreps doesn't have Nick's full high school statistics listed. In the two games that it does include though, Nick pulled in 11 catches for 175 yards and four touchdowns, as well as rushing for another touchdown and 32 yards on seven carries.
Bowers has the size of your prototypical blocking "Y" tight end--he's coming into Penn State with more bulk than any of the other TE's currently on James Franklin's roster, including the returning Adam Breneman, who bulked up quite a bit between signing and joining the team. He's incredibly athletic, though, and was asked to line up all over the field in high school--even often splitting out wide, and using cut backs or key stiff-arms to gain extra yards. He's not afraid of contact, and even has some ARob-esque vertical moves already in his repertoire coming into Happy Valley.
Bowers, who was his conference's offensive player of the year as a junior, was such a key part of Kittanning's offense that they often lined him up as the wildcat quarterback--any way to get him the ball, and involved in the play. As you can see from the tape, they often ran the "Get the ball near Bowers and let him make a play on it" play, often to positive results. He has a great deal of offensive experience which seems to come naturally to him. The staff should feel comfortable having him devote extra time to working on his blocking, knowing that those ball skills aren't going away any time soon.
The depth at tight end for the Nittany Lions, even with the departure to the NFL of Jesse James, means that it's likely that Bowers redshirts. Breneman comes back, and that return combined with Kyle Carter, Mike Gesicki and Brent Wilkerson, gives the true freshman plenty of time to bulk up with Dwight Galt before seeing the field in the regular season. It also gives them a chance to learn the intricacies of an expanded Franklin/John Donovan playbook.
The biggest change for Bowers would be learning to block--he wasn't asked to do as much of that in high school, and from what we've seen, that has been a focus of the TE in the new PSU staff's offensive philosophy (though, to be fair, that could have as much to do with offensive line play as anything else). Bowers already has the athleticism, ball hawking, and pass catching abilities necessary to make an impact, and if his blocking can catch up with his receiving, this flip could look like an absolute steal in this class.
- Nick Bowers Commits to Penn State
- Nick Bowers' Hudl Page
- Nick Bowers' MaxPreps Page
- Nick Bowers' 247Sports Profile