Lynn Bowden’s Transformation Into Leadership
Lynn Bowden has always had a certain edge that sports fans love. He’s cool. Maybe even John Wall level cool. When UK fans learned he was coming to Lexington, we all shared videos of his high school highlights and got worked up about how athletic he was. In his senior year, he posted 2,277 rushing yards, 1,366 passing yards, and accounted for 57 touchdowns. He was electric. He could run, he could pass, he could dunk a basketball, and he was coming to Kentucky.
Lynn didn’t disappoint during his first two seasons. His ability to make guys miss and his explosive punt returns were something that UK fans have been wanting to see again for about a decade. However, losing so many Wildcats after last season who were not just great players, but also team leaders has obviously impacted our team more than we hoped at the beginning of his junior season. UK crumbled against Florida after dominating the first forty-five minutes of the game. They followed that with a very lackluster trip to Mississippi State and played pitifully at South Carolina to start the season 2-3. I’m not pinning all that on our Wildcats. It’s not like they didn’t run just as hard in the down times as they did when they were beating Florida back in mid-September. Things just weren’t clicking. The Arkansas game suddenly became a must win and every quarterback on the roster was either injured or didn’t know the offense. In steps Lynn Bowden. Against Arkansas, Lynn rushed for almost 200 yards and had a QB rating of 153.2. Everything he did during the play looked flashy, but when the whistle blew, he was right back to the line of scrimmage with a stoic expression, knowing the team was on his back and he would need to grind on every snap. He’s not a guy who is going to slam water bottles together and spit at the sky, or run into the huddle head-butting his teammates to pump them up. We saw more of a quiet leadership in Lynn Bowden against Arkansas. As he took over the game, his poise leaked onto his teammates and during the second half, UK looked like a well oiled machine. (A well oiled machine that is quarterbacked by a wide receiver.) I’m not knocking Kash Daniels style. A Ray Lewis styled maniac isn’t a bad thing to have on your defense. But a team also needs a guy like Lynn Bowden, a Josh Allen, or a Mike Edwards who just go make plays and make guys on the field with them push at 100% the whole game.
Bowden has all the talent to do everything on the field, but the reason he does it so well is because he is selfless.
The sight of him at the Cat Walk with his family is the perfect indicator of the kind of guy he is on the field. He is driven and focused on the big picture. More than likely, he will be playing on Sundays next season and all of Big Blue Nation wishes him nothing but success. In the meantime though, he’s the leader and hero we need. UK Football isn’t a lower tier SEC team anymore, and in our tough moment this season, Lynn Bowden stepped up and will continue to step up as the guy who will continue Mark Stoops’ push for success.