Remember junior-college transfer cornerback Brantwon Bowser (on the left, not to be confused with Mario's Bowser and Sha Na Na's Bowzer)? In West Virginia spring drills, he tore the ACL in his right knee and needed what was labeled season-ending surgery. Well, this Bowser's season isn't over: Just four and a half months later, he amazingly has returned to practice ahead of schedule and already scratched out a role as a passing-down defensive back for the Mountaineers' season opener Saturday, Coach Bill Stewart said today.
Bowser, recruited from the same Phoenix (Ariz.) College that brought the Mountaineers assistant Dale Wolfley, safety Courtney Stuart and still-in-JUCO defensive end Tevita Finau, rejoined Sunday the team that early last spring considered him a potential starter or backup, then considered him gone for the year after April 11 surgery. "Everything turned out fine," Bowser said. "I'm good now. It's a relief."
This, after all, is a 6-foot, 179-pound fellow listed in the media guide thusly: “underwent surgery and will sit out the 2008 season.” He could still get red-shirted, however, if either the repaired knee or the sophomore’s overall progress aren’t deemed up to immediate snuff. Under NCAA rules, he could play in the season’s first four games, then receive a redshirt to provide him with three years of eligibility left.
By the way, give credit where it's due: The Bowser cartoon idea was first proffered by Mike Casazza. The bad idea to include lead singer Jon Bauman all sprang from the addled mind of this correspondent.
Stewart also offered some other insights at his news conference this afternoon:
- Virginia, he hopes, will slide into the Mountaineers’ 2009 schedule. The two programs have been in talks about a four-year deal, and it falls into line with Stewart’s wish to schedule more games against border states. Maryland, beyond a 2010-11 commitment that may stretch two additional years, and Kentucky and longtime rival Virginia Tech apparently show little interest in launching or resuming neighborly hostilities with the Mountaineers. “I can’t get border schools to play us,” Stewart said, rubbing the wooden podium top amid a news-conference question pertaining to the scheduling of Division I-AA schools such as Villanova this Saturday. “When you get good, you can’t get tem to play even a game. If we can’t get close-by opponents to play us, we may have to keep doing what we’re doing: play Colorado and Auburn. I don’t want to fly all over the country and our fans can’t get to [those games]. So we’ll play a I-AA opponent [as well]. I was a I-AA coach myself” at VMI.
lineman Scooter Berry will “spot play” Saturday, to rest a creaky knee
that sidelined him for most of three games last season. Berry, who can play tackle or nose guard, is backed at tackle by Doug Slavonic, which could translate into more playing time for that redshirt senior from Mt. Lebanon.
- Maryland clinged to a 10-7 halftime lead against this same Villanova in its home opener one year ago. “That worries me,” Stewart said.