It will take some time, but it will come. In the end, the first thing said about safety Peyton Bowen will have nothing to do with a 24-hour whirlwind that no Oklahoma, Oregon, or Notre Dame recruiting fan will ever forget.
In the end.
Bowen, of course, was committed to Notre Dame for nearly a year before pulling out an Oregon hat on the first day of the early signing period last month.
He never delivered a letter of intent, thought about it, and flipped and signed with the Sooners the next day.
The definitive victory for the coach Brent Venables and the defensive staff.
“I’m really proud of Peyton and her family,” Venables said last month. “As you all know from covering student-athletes and watching their journey, these life-changing decisions are never necessarily an easy ride and a great journey for Peyton and his family. I’m incredibly proud that he picked the Sooners, and they’re just wonderful people.
Bowen was a borderline five-star candidate heading into his senior season and erased all doubts after an incredibly impressive senior season. Whether it’s defense, offense or special teams, Bowen has found a way to impact the game every single week.
It could be an interception one week or a return kick the next or a blocked kick another time or a crucial tackle, Bowen can do it all and did it.
It rose to five-star status in the fall and would not be denied. Bowen finishes No. 12 overall as one of three OU five-star signees, joining quarterback Jackson Arnold (#23) and defensive end PJ Adebawore. Bowen is the highest ranked Sooner in the class of 2023 and, at one time, ranked 10th overall.
“Peyton brings an incredible set of skills, dynamics, instincts, speed, just amazing, great instincts, natural feel for the game,” said Venables. “He IS a winner. He comes from one of the best high school programs in the country. He will bring a great experience playing at a very high level in terms of competition. He is a humble and hardworking boy ”.
All three are among 14 midyear enrollees who arrived at OU earlier this month. The Sooners simply never backed down.
While Adebawore and Arnold were engaged long before the 2022 season, Bowen was not. And with OU’s season uneven, you had no idea how serious Bowen’s interest in the Sooners was.
Venables never gives up. Safety coach Brandon Hall it was always there. They recognized Bowen’s ability to change the rules of defense. They would have gone down to the bottom, but this story had a happy ending for the Sooners.
All the twists and turns, the ebbs and flows, all’s well that ends well.
“It can be a very tiring and lengthy process, and it’s literally a race,” Venables said. “You want to run the race to win. Winning is what it’s all about, but you have to run those races with endurance. This is nothing more, nothing less.
“I’m really excited to add another dynamic piece to what we’re trying to build on both sides of the ball, but obviously Peyton in return play and on defense, in particular.”
Many people are curious as to how quickly Bowen can adapt to the college game. OU has some familiar safeties like Lorenzo key And Billy Bowman. The Sooners brought another one Reggie Pearson (Texas Tech), e Robert Spears-Jennings got his feet wet last year.
Now comes Bowen. You can tell he’s happy to put the past into the past. The next set of questions isn’t so much about recruiting him, it’s about what he’s doing to Norman. If he can be that player who was at Denton Guyer, his story is just beginning.