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National Signing Day 2015: Welcome to Penn State, Manny Bowen

Penn State spent plenty of time recruiting New Jersey in 2015, and came away with the top linebacker in the Garden State.

247 Sports

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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It's no secret that Penn State has plenty of depth issues to address. Linebacker is right at the top of that list. Manny Bowen was a top target for Penn State from the very early stages of the recruiting process, and the Lions remained right at the top of his list even as programs like Alabama, Michigan State, Oregon, and Florida ramped up their interest prior to his June commitment.


Hometown: Barnegat, NJ

High School: Barnegat

Position: Linebacker

Height/Weight: 6'2"/206

247Composite Rank: ★ (0.9029)

Positional Rank: #17 Outside Linebacker, #6 overall in New Jersey

Commitment Date: June 21, 2014

247 Crystal Ball:

High School Stats

Year GP Tackles Tackles/Game Tackles for Loss Sacks INT Fumble Recoveries
Senior 6 51 8.5 10.0 1.0 0 2
Junior 12 68 5.7 15.0 2.5 4 3

Manny also played receiver in high school. Over his senior and junior seasons, he had 792 receiving yards on 40 catches, and eight touchdowns.

Highlight Tape

Scouting Report

If there is an overall theme to Penn State's recruiting, especially on the defensive side of the ball, it's athleticism. In a class full of outstanding athletes, Manny Bowen is right at the top of the list. Manny is not the biggest guy, yet, but it does not take long to see that PSU has a good one. I always hesitate to throw around comparisons, but he reminds me a little of Navorro Bowman coming out of high school. He has good instincts, but it's his speed and ability in space that really stand out.

Manny has the kind of speed at the linebacker position that helps make the Ohio State linebackers so effective. Offensive coordinators are forced to game plan around guys who are that athletic, coming at the quarterback. Bowen will be a player that not only causes fits for coordinators, but allows his own defensive coordinator even more flexibility, knowing he has something with elite-level speed for a linebacker.

There will certainly be a bit of an adjustment period for Manny, as there will be experienced college athletes and coaches that will try and take advantage of his aggressiveness. Once he learns the nuances of the game at the next level though, watch out.

Immediate Outlook

Redshirt No

Penn State is not deep at linebacker, and with the graduation of Mike Hull, a lot is up in the air as far as where players will slot in 2015. Manny's size is really the only thing that I think could keep him off the field in 2015, so a lot depends on how much size he can put on once he gets on the PSU training program after signing, and then on campus in June. I could see him finding a role on special teams as well. His intensity and all out style would be a huge plus on kick coverage.

Right now, I see Bowen as someone who will likely make his way onto the field as a freshman. He probably won't see any legitimate minutes at linebacker just yet, barring some sort of superstar performance in pre-season camp, but special teams is a good place for him already. It shouldn't take long for a player of his caliber to force his way into the linebacker rotation, but it might be a little too much right off the bat.

Everything Else

Welcome to Penn State, Manny!