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Notre Dame Baseball

Drayk Bowen Vital to Future Success at Notre Dame

December 22, 2022

2023 linebacker Drayk Bowen‍ had waited a long time to make his commitment to Notre Dame official, but not a soul in the country questioned his loyalty to Marcus Freeman’s program. 

You know the story. 

The four-star prospect didn’t have Notre Dame on his radar when his recruitment started and the Irish weren’t even in the lead the summer before he gave Freeman his verbal pledge. 

Yet from the second Bowen told Freeman and Chad Bowden he was coming to Notre Dame, the Andrean High School (Ind.) star went to work. 

Bowen won’t get credit for landing a commitment, but the 6-foot-2, 233-pounder was the glue to the class. If there was a prospect wavering, Bowen was there. If a prospect was thinking about commitment, Bowen was in his ear. 

The efforts of Bowen are only rivaled by Blake Fisher and now Western Kentucky running back Markese Stepp. 

“What attracted Drayk to me was he was the best player in Indiana,” Freeman said on Wednesday. “He obviously won Mr. Football in Indiana. Then you see his film and you see his work ethic, you meet his family, you say, ‘OK, this is a Notre Dame kid, man.’ He’s going to be great.” 

The best football player in Indiana registered 144 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, five sacks and two interceptions on defense this fall while adding 1,784 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns with 10 catches for 228 yards and three touchdowns. 

As Freeman said, Bowen would then make his way over to South Bend on Saturday morning to take on the role as a recruiter. 

“He’s come to every single home game,” explained Freeman. “He loves this place, and he’s probably our best recruiter. He talks to every single one of those recruits. They all respect him because he’s an outgoing personality but he’s a great football player, highly rated, those different things.” 

Notre Dame baseball will also get to work with Bowen as he’ll play both sports when he arrives in January. 

Head coach Shawn Stiffler might not have spent as much time with Bowen as Freeman, but he quickly saw why the two-sport star has a bright future at Notre Dame. 

“I’m so excited about having his leadership skills, his toughness and I think he fits in great with our group - the blue-collar mentality of our group,” Stiffler said. “As you guys know, he basically lived here on weekends. He makes himself at home. He comes into the complex, watches and is down there talking to those recruits. He’s just as active recruiting with our guys as I’m sure he has been with football.” 

Bowen has been more than vocal on Social Media in recent months giving praise to his future teammates and recruiting others to join. Stiffler has noticed it and made sure to tell Bowen his voice matters. 

“I see the stuff he puts on Twitter and I always tell him he should be really proud of himself,” state Stiffler. “The stuff he’s saying and putting out there is really high level and it means a lot to us because we all feel that way.” 

It’s clear Bowen has a chance to leave his mark on the field in the near future, but regardless of how his career turns out, Notre Dame football and baseball will be better because of his efforts over the last year. 

“He did a great job of continuing to keep this class interconnected,” said Freeman. “He tells me he’s a great Madden player. They all play Madden against each other in video games. That’s what these young guys do. They’re on Xbox and Playstations and Snapchats and all that stuff. That’s what they do. Drayk was vital in keeping this group together.”

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