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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Crunch Time: Amee Bowen In-Depth on Recruiting Process with Sons Eli, Peyton Part II

November 2, 2022

The 2023 recruiting cycle is inching closer and closer to the December early signing period and that means it’s crunch time for every program in the country to finalize its incoming class after years of work. 

For Notre Dame, 2023 Denton Guyer (Texas) five-star safety Peyton Bowen‍ is the gem of its loaded recruiting class and his brother, Eli Bowen‍, remains a top cornerback target for the Fighting Irish and both will make their return to South Bend this weekend for a two-day unofficial visit. 

Amee Bowen, the mother of the Bowen brothers, once again spoke with ISD with full transparency to discuss the latest happenings on the recruiting trail in this latest exclusive question-and-answer session. 

Q: What did it mean for the Bowen family and even the Denton Guyer community when Marcus Freeman and Chris O’Leary made their way down for a game earlier this fall? 

Amee Bowen: I talked to the head coach that week. I don’t know if he had ever really talked to Marcus Freeman or not, but he was like, ‘Is he cool? How is he?’ I was like, ‘He’s cool and down to earth. You’ll be fine.’ 

“I think some of the fans were pretty excited about it. For our school, there are coaches there every week, but not always the head coach. 

“It meant a lot to Peyton. He can't just drive in on a whim and visit campus, so it was huge for Freeman to make the game and show his face at the school.” 

Q: As a mother, what have the last few months been like for you just seeing all the different rumors and reports about Peyton floating around? 

Amee Bowen: It has taught me to check the followers of the account who posted them. I get it in the part of some of the fans because he does take the visits and stuff like that. When you look at it, he’s a sports fan too. He grew up watching this stuff happen and it’s something huge for him too. 

“It’s hard when fans start posting personal stuff. It’s also taught me to listen to the whole interview before I post it also because you never know what they say at the end and then it leads to other questions. You try not to take it personally because they don’t really know your kid, but it’s interesting.” 

Q: How has Peyton dealt with all the stuff that’s come at him over the last few months while managing his football season:

Amee Bowen: I have to understand he does take visits, so I get some of it. I think for a little bit at the start of the season it was putting a little stress on him. He’s competitive, so he wants to make sure he’s up on his game. He wants to make sure he’s making the right decisions. 

“For a little bit it was wearing on him, but I think it’s gone away. I think he’s back to enjoying it and being excited. On some of these visits, he’s been able to take family on that doesn’t normally get to go. He took his sister and soon-to-be brother-in-law and he’s taken some friends, so he gets to have fun with it too.” 

Q: Do you think Eli has taken away learning moments from watching Peyton go through his recruitment? 

Amee Bowen: Oh yeah. I don’t know if his recruitment will be similar or make him wait longer to commit. There were a lot of changes right around the time Peyton committed with coaches going everywhere and stuff like that. You never even think about that, but there was a lot last year. 

“You see people decommitting from Colorado because that coach is gone and stuff like that. It’s crazy.” 

Q: Why was it important for you guys to get back to South Bend this weekend? 

Amee Bowen: There’s a few things. It’s a huge home night game. We had talked about it in the summer and a lot of the commits were going to go. They were trying to make a game that they were all going to go to. 

It’s also getting close to Signing Day, so that way he either gets reminded of what he committed to or it also could be the downside of not what he signed up for.

Q: What has it been like as a mom watching both boys go out and dominate this year? 

Amee Bowen: I think it’s really awesome. As a sports mom, it’s different because you’re sitting there and you get to see both of your sons out there competing together. My biggest thing I say every week is I want to see them both go out and have fun. This is what they’ve worked for forever. When they make that play or do something well - even one of Peyton’s touchdowns, Eli is the one setting up the big block or Eli is the one following him down the field. If you see it, you can see both of them read off each other and it’s really cool to see how close they’ve gotten over this last year. 

“Senior night is this week, so it’s one of those times where everyone is like ‘you’re going to sad.’ I’m like, ‘No, because football isn’t done.’ We have a whole season still to play of playoffs. I think it’ll be very sad that last game because it’s the last time they’ll play together for at least a year. It’s been exciting and stressful in the beginning because you want them to live up to the hype at the same time.” 

Q: How often doe NIL brought up by schools or people in general during the recruiting process? 

Amee Bowen: It gets brought up every visit if not more than the visit. Each school is different and when it comes down to it, some of them are vastly different. In the end, they all promise once you get to campus, whatever opportunities will be there. Even if they don’t offer it upfront, it’s there when you get there. 

It won’t be the top reason Peyton makes a decision, but it does make a difference when you look at what it is. Nothing is guaranteed. It does get brought up all the time. 

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