Gorman on Recruiting: Wyomissing kicker makes money FG
Once Jonah Bowman saw which down it was, the Wyomissing senior kicker started measuring the distance in his head.
By the time he heard his name called for a field goal, Bowman realized he would be attempting a 52-yarder.
In the PIAA finals, no less.
“It's a state championship. You have the goosebumps walking out there. Then the snap comes and the instincts come in,” Bowman said. “It was a perfect snap, perfect hold...”
And a perfect kick, one that split the uprights with several yards to spare.
“Once it went through the uprights,” Bowman said, “it was the greatest feeling in the world.”
You could call it a money kick, especially when it comes to recruiting.
When Bowman, with the wind at his back, boomed the ensuing kickoff out of the Aliquippa end zone, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien started typing on his phone.
Pitt also had four assistant coaches at Hersheypark Stadium, and the game was televised live on PCN.
Hard to believe, but Bowman didn't have any scholarship offers prior to the PIAA Class AA championship.
“He's been talking to D-Is,” Wyomissing coach Bob Wolfrum said, “but most of those guys want you to come and prove yourself before they give you money.”
Bowman not only set a state finals record for longest field goal but scored the points that proved to be the difference in a 17-14 victory over Aliquippa on Saturday.
“It hasn't crossed my mind at all,” Bowman said of recruiting. “I just want to enjoy this last moment I have with my team. I'm not worried about the future.”
Bowman was 8 for 11 on field goals prior to the PIAA final, missing twice from 51 yards. His previous career long was a 45-yarder.
The 52-yarder isn't the longest field goal Bowman has made. He claims to have converted a 62-yarder at a kicking camp last summer.
“But to throw on pads and a helmet and kick a 52-yarder, it's different,” Bowman said. “I feel like I can deal with the pressure now of making a clutch field goal in a big game.”
This one could have an impact on his college future.
“I feel like I have the talent to play at the next level, for sure,” Bowman said. “I'm not sure where yet. Today wasn't about impressing colleges. Today was about playing my last game with my teammates and winning a state championship.”
They might go hand in hand, thanks to his leg.