Bowen, the No. 14 overall recruit and No. 2 safety in the 2023 ESPN 300, is the highest-ranked defensive player to sign with Oklahoma since ESPN began ranking recruits in 2006.
“As I reflect on yesterday’s whirlwind I recognize I made some mistakes that I regret and will learn from,” he wrote on Twitter. “Navigating this process has been a rollercoaster.”
Respect my Decision just want peace for me and my family
Boomer Sooner ⭕️U!! pic.twitter.com/ERfET7lIyG
— Peyton Bowen (@PeytonBowen10) December 22, 2022
Brent Venables’ first full recruiting class as Oklahoma’s head coach entered signing day ranked No. 5 and improved to No. 4 upon Bowen decommitting from Notre Dame. (The Irish fell to seventh.) Six-foot, 195-pound Bowen becomes the second five-star recruit for the Sooners, joining his John Guyer High School (Texas) teammate Jackson Arnold, the No. 8 overall recruit and No. 1 dual-threat quarterback. Bowen and Arnold helped lead the Wildcats to a 14-1 record, with their only loss coming to DeSoto (Texas) High School in a Class 6A Division II state semifinal Dec. 10. Bowen had originally committed to Notre Dame back on Jan. 1 but flipped to Oregon on the first day of the early signing period.
Still, coach Dan Lanning and Oregon still had quite a productive early signing period.
The Ducks signed defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei (No. 65 overall in 2023), brother of former Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei; and flipped three key players: cornerback Daylen Austin (No. 142 overall in 2023) from LSU, quarterback Austin Novosad (No. 270 overall in 2023) from Baylor and running back Jayden Limar from Washington.
They entered the day ranked 14th and ended it in the top five. Without Bowen, though, they will move down.