Bowden poised for a big year

Published 11:47 am Monday, July 29, 2019

Kentucky Junior wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. was one of the most electric playmakers in college football last season. Bowden not only led Kentucky in a multitude of offensive statistical categories, but also topped a few categories nationally, including being only one of three players in the nation with multiple punt returns for touchdowns last season (2), in only five punt returns.

Bowden’s 67 catches, 745 receiving yards and five touchdown catches were all team-leading numbers last season. His reception total was the most for a UK receiver since Randall Cobb had 87 in 2010. With the loss of all-time leading rusher Benny Snell, Bowden should have even bigger numbers this season, being the Wildcats’ primary offensive threat.

In April of this year, Bowden cut off his signature dreadlocks in an attempt to connect more with the fan base, saying, “I felt like if I cut my hair, everybody could see my face, instead of hiding behind my hair. Why hide behind his hair? I really don’t like to meet new people or talk to new people, but I’m coming out of my shell. A lot of people pass judgments on me for the way I look. I’ve got an ink addiction and plan on getting more. Appearances aren’t everything. I know who I am and I’m a good person. I just want the fan base to know that too.”

Earlier this month, Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen passed away, bringing all of Big Blue Nation closer together. Bowden recalled how the community came together and how everyone felt like family.

“It was a major loss,” said Bowden. “Jared (Lorenzen) was a legend around here. He was loved by everyone who came in contact with him. He was a stand-up guy, and it really hurt to lose him. I remember seeing the look on all the fans’ faces and how sad they looked. It looked like they had lost a member of their family and to them, they had. It’s just tragic, especially for someone to be that young.”

“It really brought the team together,” said Bowden. “A lot of the players actually attended the funeral and tried to do everything they could to help his family. You can tell how many people valued him not only as a football player, but as a person. He is going to be greatly missed.”

There’s no question that Bowden will be pivotal in the Wildcats’ success this season.

The Wildcats open the 2019 season with Toledo on Aug. 31 at noon. The Wildcats finished the 2018 season with a 10-3 (5-3) record and a huge Citrus Bowl victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions, 27-24.