Joe Mussatto/SEC Country
Lynn Bowden was introduced to Kentucky fans Saturday.

Kentucky football: The Lynn Bowden speculation is over as top freshman gets clearance

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Mark Stoops might’ve fielded his last question, at least for a little while, about the status of Lynn Bowden, Kentucky’s prized freshman.

Speculation has been swirling for weeks about Bowden, Kentucky’s No. 1 signee in the 2017 class. The Youngstown, Ohio, native was absent for most of the first week of preseason camp due to an academic eligibility issue with the NCAA clearinghouse.

It’s an issue no more.

“Lynn is good to go,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Saturday. “We got cleared yesterday, late afternoon. We were able to put him through an individual practice. Today it was his second with no shoulder pads. So he has to go uppers our next practice and then he’ll be good to go.”

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They were the words Kentucky football fans have been waiting to hear. Bowden was ranked the No. 4 athlete in the 2017 class and the 168th overall prospect, according to 247Sports.

The first official glimpse of Bowden came at 9 a.m. Saturday for Kentucky’s annual fan day. The freshman signed posters, footballs and posed for pictures.Lynn Bowden-Kentucky-Kentucky football

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Bowden, who wears No. 1, was in a red no-contact jersey for most of the open practice Saturday. He’s expected to primarily play as a slot receiver, but could possibly see time at running back or at quarterback in the wildcat formation.

He also joined the punt returners group. Bowden is a week behind his teammates, but his elusive style could play well as a return man even if he’s still learning the offense.

“Absolutely,” Stoops said. “We’ll get out there and give him a shot in live looks and see what he can do.”

Mark Stoops after Kentucky’s open practice Saturday