By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky’s offense really did not have a home run hitter last season. Sophomore receiver Lynn Bowden could change that this year.
“He is a freak athlete. He came in as a quarterback (in high school) and had never played receiver,” UK receiver Isaiah Epps said. “Just his athleticism, I think he could mold to just about any position on the field. He can go. I think he’ll be great this year.”
He was perhaps the best high school player in Ohio in 2016 when he had 2,277 yards rushing and 1,366 yards passing and accounted for 57 touchdowns for Warren Harding High School.
He didn’t score a touchdown at UK in 2017. The 6-1, 195-pound Bowden did average 23.5 yards per kick return, seventh best in the SEC, and had a 93-yard kickoff return against Vanderbilt. He was 3-for-4 passing for 92 yards and caught 17 passes for 210 yards.
For most players, those would be acceptable numbers. But Bowden came to UK with big expectations.
“I learned everything is not easy,” Bowden said about last season. “I wasn’t here in the spring before the season like some guys. I wasn’t even here in the summer like everyone else last year. But I’ve learned to go harder every day.”
Could this be a breakout year for him?
“I hope it is for me and the team but I want it to be bigger than me. I want to go the next step. We went 7-5 last year. I don’t think nobody came here to be 7-5. We want to win more,” he said.
Bowden knows he learned a lot — and still has more to learn.
“I don’t know what is in the bag for me. I will try for everything I can to help this team,” he said. “I just know I am going to be a better player for a lot of reasons and that there’s no reason I shouldn’t do a lot more to help this team than I did last year.”