Bowles: 'Can't wait to get up there'

Drae Bowles

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College football between a pair of BCS conference teams coupled with full cooperation from Mother Nature resulted in a fantastic day for Tennessee to showcase a gameday atmosphere in Knoxville.

One recruit who carried a glowing smile much of the afternoon at Neyland Stadium was Vol commitment Drae Bowles.

"It was definitely great to go back home and be with the coaching staff and the guys on the team," wide receiver Bowles told InsideTennessee of his unofficial visit. "I can't wait to get up there really."

It didn't hurt that it was a record-setting day for the Tennessee offense as well with two wide receivers — Justin Hunter and Da' Rick Rogers — totaling 10 catches for 256 and three touchdowns.

The Vols' starting 17 freshmen and sophomores excites Bowles, knowing that success is likely on the horizon.

"It definitely says a lot," the four-star prospect said. "It says that in the future, we have a great class coming up. That also gives my class a chance to learn from Justin and Da'Rick and Zach (Rogers) and the rest of the upperclassmen guys… it's an opportunity to learn to do well because you've learned from the guys with the experience."

Bowles also paid attention as Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray passed for 405 yards and broke a record previously held by Peyton Manning by throwing two or more touchdowns in his eighth straight game.

"Not only is Tyler a great quarterback, he's also a great person to talk to. I'm really looking forward to being able to play with him next year," the Jackson native said.

The wideout admitted that his everyday life has altered some since his pledge to coach Derek Dooley and the Volunteers.

"Things are definitely different," Bowles said. "People are always saying, 'Man, congratulations on becoming a Vol.' They're always very happy for me and telling me how much they're proud of me for being able to play at that level. It's definitely a good thing."

Bowles, who committed back on July 17, expects to see a pair of Vol assistant coaches soon.

"Coach (Terry) Joseph and coach (Darin) Hinshaw are supposed to come up and watch me play. They told me soon, so there's no telling which game they're coming to," he said.

Bowles plays for Jackson Christian High School, which switched its offensive scheme, going from a spread attack to the Triple Option.

"We're still trying to get everything down pat," Bowles said. "So, it's still kind of a learning process and we have a lot of underclassmen that are having to step up and play. We're just trying to get into the rhythm of things and try to get momentum going."

After scoring a touchdown receiving, rushing and on a return in their season-opening 34-19 win over Trinity Christian, the numbers and victories have dropped off. He did have five catches for 58 yards in the 12-0 loss to St. George's, but his team is now 1-3.

"When I have the opportunity to have the ball in my hands to make the most out of it, try to be a servant," Bowles said. "When I don't have the ball, just block when I can. I just really try to make the most out of it and try to have a positive attitude about everything."

Week 4's slate of high school games across the state includes Bowles' team taking on rival University School of Jackson, which is located about five minutes from Jackson Christian.

He is not an early enrollee. He has already qualified ACT-wise with a 22 and carries a 2.9 GPA. He said he wants to major in the communications — radio/broadcasting.

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