Clemson rolled out the orange carpet last week for the nation’s top-ranked linebacker in the class of 2023.
Five-star Drayk Bowen from Andrean High School in Merrillville, Ind., made an unofficial visit to campus last Wednesday and was treated like a priority by the Tigers’ staff – especially defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who gave Bowen a personal tour of the campus and facilities while showing him how Clemson sets its players up for success not only on the field, but off it as well.
“Getting to be with Coach Venables all day and interact with him was awesome,” Bowen said. “Getting to learn more about the networking and how they help you after football was really cool.”
Bowen (6-2, 215) also got some face-to-face time with Clemson’s head man while on campus.
“Getting to meet Coach (Dabo) Swinney was probably the highlight for me,” he said.
Bowen made the trip to Tiger Town with his father and a friend of his dad’s.
“They loved it,” Bowen said, “but they more so said they loved how I interacted and being able to see how my hard work is paying off.”
Bowen has certainly been rewarded for his hard work on the football field, as he has around two dozen offers and is being sought after by many of the nation’s top programs.
The Tigers extended an offer to Bowen on June 1 – the first day they began dispensing offers to rising juniors – and his visit to Clemson allowed him to strengthen even more what was an already strong bond with Venables.
“I really like Coach Venables,” he said. “Our relationship has always been really good, and after the visit, it has only gotten better.”
“He really showed me how much Clemson helps after football,” Bowen added. “He talked about the football but mainly about the development for after football.”
Bowen has also traveled to Notre Dame, Michigan, Tennessee and Ole Miss since the dead period was lifted June 1, while he has upcoming trips scheduled to Alabama (June 23), Auburn (June 24) and LSU (June 25).
At this point in his recruiting process, Bowen claims no favorites.
“Right now, I don’t have a top list,” he said. “I’m just wanting to meet coaches and see campuses in June and go from there.”
Bowen is rated as a five-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite, which tabs him as the No. 1 linebacker and No. 25 overall prospect in the country for the 2023 class.
As a sophomore last season, Bowen tallied 80 tackles including 13 for loss and five sacks.
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