Peyton Bowen among ESPN’s ‘newcomers to watch’ for the 2023 season

One of the biggest storylines of the 2023 Recruiting Class was the recruitment and signing of Peyton Bowen. The five-star safety out of Denton Guyer was a top 20 player in the class and highly coveted because of his athleticism, ball skills, and processing speed.

This year is a huge season for the Sooners’ defense. For Oklahoma to contend, the defense needs to improve and Bowen could be a big part of it.

As ESPN looks ahead to the 2023 season, Bowen is one of their newcomers’ to watch.

Bowen’s recruitment became one of the wilder stories heading into the December signing period. The five-star safety from Texas (ESPN’s No. 17 overall prospect) initially committed to Notre Dame for a year before flipping to Oregon and then Oklahoma during a furious 24 hours. He joins quarterback Jackson Arnold, his high school teammate and ESPN’s No. 3 overall prospect, in Norman. Bowen and five-star defensive end Adepoju Adebawore are the types of defensive recruits Oklahoma hired coach Brent Venables to sign, especially with the SEC transition on the horizon in 2024. They should see the field this fall, and their performances could open eyes of similar defensive prospects toward OU and the chance to play for Venables. Bowen is Oklahoma’s highest-rated defensive recruit since ESPN launched its rankings. Adam Rittenberg, ESPN

Bowen didn’t do anything to slow down the hype train during the spring game, where he intercepted a deep ball down the left sideline. The positioning and ball skills were a welcomed site playing in a one-on-one situation.

As part of a safety group that includes Billy Bowman, reggie pearson, and Key Lawrence, Bowen may not see a ton of snaps as a true freshman, but he’ll certainly get on the field.

Brent Venables has spoken highly of Bowen all offseason. As Oklahoma looks to improve its defense,…


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