Ex-Duck w/ big leg headed to WSU, says coach


FORMER OREGON kicker Mike Bowlin, who verbally committed to San Jose State a week ago, is now headed to Washington State, according to his long-time kicking coach and nationally recognized specialist guru Chris Sailer. Bowlin could put a jolt into Cougar kickoffs not seen since the days of Adam Holiday.

Sailer, who has worked with Bowlin since 2005, announced the move via twitter. Bowlin will have three years to play two seasons, and could instantly solve the Cougars' ongoing lack of distance on kickoffs.

This past season, at Saddleback JC, Bowlin averaged 64.1 yards per kickoff with 14 touchbacks. By comparison, WSU had one touchback in 2011.

Bowlin also hit on 11 of 15 field goal attempts this past season.

In 2009 Bowlin was a top prospect coming out of Aliso Niguel High School southeast of Santa Ana, Calif., and went to Oregon on a full ride. He redshirted that season and was expected to contend for time in 2010. But he left school following involvement in a late-night campus brawl in January 2010, and headed to the JC ranks.

"Mike has as much talent as anyone in the nation," Sailer has said. "A huge leg and tons of potential. Pure on field goals and huge on kickoffs. Is going to be a great fit for a program that needs someone to step in and play. Also a very capable punter."

Sailer's organization, by the way, also has tutored current WSU long snappers Zach Koepp, Alex Den Bleyker and Ryan Saparto, as well as punter Tyler McNannay.

AT WSU, Bowlin would figure to compete immediately for kickoff chores, as returning kickers Andrew Furney and Alex Gauper often struggled to get kickoffs deeper than the 10 yard line. In 58 kickoffs this past season, Furney collected just one touchback, while Gauper had none in 12 kickoffs.

Field goal and PAT duties were a different story, though. Furney was good on 14 of 16 with a long of 51 yards.

McNannay, of Colfax, redshirted this past season and was thought to be in line for kicking or punting duties when he arrived in Pullman this past August. He was an all-state kicker, punter and running back in high school but is firmly believed to be the heir apparent to Dan Wagner as the Cougars' punter.

At 6-0, 215 pounds and a powerful style, Terrell Davis isn't the prototypical running back for an Air Raid offense. And so he won't be coming to Washington State to play for Mike Leach, he tells CF.C. He might, however, still play in the land of the Pac-12. Arizona State has been in contact and showing heavy interest, setting up an official visit for Jan. 13.

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