A look at the latest news and notes from out West in this week's notebook, where coaching changes…
Boils Down to Two for Bowman
Four-star safety and junior college transfer Gerald Bowman has narrowed his choice down to two programs, after the flurry of coaching changes surrounding interested schools. "This week was really disappointing to see some of the coaches recruiting me get fired," Bowman said. UCLA, Arizona State and Illinois head coaches had all been talking to the Pierce College sophomore. "Actually another university told me [Illinois' Ron Zook] was fired," Bowman said. "I'm like 'what? Are you serious? He's supposed to come see me this week.'" The recent coaching news has helped clear a few things up for Bowman, who received a phone call from one head coach Tuesday whose job appears secure, at least for now. Lane Kiffin, head coach of the USC Trojans, called Bowman ahead of the defensive back's visit scheduled for this weekend. "He pretty much told me he's fired up and excited for me to come out there," Bowman said of his conversation with Kiffin. "And the opportunity I would have if I were to go to USC. It was real brief but he just called to check up." Trojans' recruiting coach Ed Orgeron along with defensive backs coach Sammy Knight have been in constant contact with Bowman as well. But so have the Sooners' coaching staff. "To be honest right now the schools that I'm really talking to are USC and Oklahoma." Makes sense as Bowman lists one of his two top factors to be a good relationship with a program's coaching staff. "My relationship with the coaches is important. They're going to know me for the three years that I'm there that's like a lifetime," he said. Bowman took an official to Oklahoma in early November and said he really enjoyed the visit. "It was pretty cool. Great university. A lot of tradition there, a lot of history and good players that played for them. "I met up with Stoops and also had a chance to speak with the academic people. Overall it was a great trip I really enjoyed it." A second factor for the safety that has also had offers from Miami, Washington, Oregon and Nebraska, is playing time. "Of course playing time. Playing time is a factor, being able to come in and compete right away," he said. So what will make either Oklahoma or USC stand out? Fitting in the system, Bowman said. "Both are great universities. Obviously I've got to decide which one I'll be able to fit in. Both schools it's coming down to what is the best decision for myself." Director of Scouting Scott Kennedy said this about Bowman: "If that's not a 5-star safety, what does one look like?" High praise for the junior college player. But Bowman has big plans, and hopes wherever he goes will see the same as those scouting him. "I plan on being at a program to get the experience and to get me ready for the next level, if that opportunity presented itself." Bowman plans to make his decision around Dec. 10, after he returns from an official visit to Miami (Fl.).
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