LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Lynn Bowden won’t be able to participate in Kentucky’s team workouts until camp starts in 10 days, and it’s unclear whether his absence all summer will affect his playing time in his first season.
“I don’t bank on any freshman,” Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said Friday at a luncheon in Louisville. “Nobody knew Benny was going to be what he was going to be what he is. Landon Young got a lot of playing time. That all comes with maturity, your physical ability to get it done in those situations. If he is, he’ll play. If he’s not, does it hurt him? Absolutely. He’s a smart young man and he’ll come in. He’s a competitor. So we’ll just see how that one plays out.”
Bowden was the gem in Kentucky’s 2017 class. He was the top-ranked Cats commit as the No. 4 athlete in the country and a top-200 overall prospect, according to 247Sports.
But as the rest of his signees arrived in Lexington to enroll in summer classes and join team workouts, Bowden remained in Youngstown, Ohio. Coach Mark Stoops said at SEC Media Days that he anticipates Bowden to be ready by the start of camp.
“We’re just waiting for him to get here,” quarterback Stephen Johnson said at SEC Media Days. “We’ve all seen his film, we’ve all seen his tape. He’s done a crazy amount of things with the football at his high school. It’s a matter of seeing him on the field when he gets here.”
Gran isn’t relying on Bowden, but if ready, the freshman could become a dynamic piece in Kentucky’s offense. He played quarterback in high school but is expected to primarily play as a slot receiver in college. He could also be used as a running back or even a quarterback in the wildcat formation.
How he progresses in camp will be a good indication of whether or not Bowden will take the field in Hattiesburg, Miss., when Kentucky opens play September 2.