Lynn Bowden Jr. declares for NFL Draft

Bowden will play in Belk Bowl

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Di Pan/The Missourian

LEXINGTON, KY (WTVQ) – After taking over at quarterback and leading the Kentucky Wildcats to five wins, Lynn Bowden Jr. has declared for the NFL Draft.

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In the video, Bowden does say he plans to play in the Belk Bowl with Kentucky.

Info from UK Athletics on Bowden:

Bowden, a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award for the nation’s most versatile player, currently leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally in all-purpose yardage, averaging 153.0 yards per game (note that all-purpose yardage does not include Bowden’s passing yardage as a quarterback). He is one of only three players in the top nine nationally with rushing, receiving, punt return and kickoff return yards.

The Youngstown, Ohio native, who earned First-Team Midseason All-America honors as an all-purpose player by The Associated Press and ESPN, is averaging 8.2 yards per rushing attempt, and is in contention to break the school record. That mark leads the SEC and ranks second nationally. He also is the only player in the nation leading his team in both rushing (1,235) and pass receiving (348). He ranks 13th on UK’s career receptions list with 114 and is 18th on the career receiving yards list with 1,303 yards.

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Below is the full release from UK Athletics:

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden Jr. will enter the 2020 National Football League Draft this spring, ending a record-breaking three-year career in Lexington, he announced on Monday via social media. Bowden intends to play his final game for the Wildcats in the Belk Bowl against Virginia Tech.

“I plan on entering my name in the 2020 NFL Draft,” Bowden said. “This is a moment I’ve dreamed of for a long time. I want to thank my family, Coach Stoops, Coach Marrow, Coach Gran, Coach Hinshaw, Coach Smith and all my coaches and teammates for getting me to this point. My strength coaches and trainers were also there every step of the way. The Big Blue Wall, the best offensive line in America, I can’t say enough about you. And our fans, the Big Blue Nation, you took in a kid from Youngstown, Ohio and helped me become a man. See you in Charlotte.”

Bowden etched his name into program lore this season after injuries at quarterback forced him to return to the position for the first time since high school. All the junior did was set a school record for career and single-season rushing yards by a quarterback, break the Southeastern Conference’s single-game rushing mark by a quarterback, turn in the second-highest single-game rushing total in UK history, highest single-season yards per rush attempt average and deliver at least 100 rushing yards in six of his seven starts at quarterback (and miss a seventh by a single yard vs. Georgia). The Wildcats won five of his seven starts at quarterback while advancing to a fourth-straight bowl game and re-writing the school’s record books for rushing production.

“We are very proud of Lynn and are excited for what his future holds in the NFL,” head coach Mark Stoops said. “What he’s done for this team this season is nothing short of amazing. He deserves a lot of credit because he’s sacrificed his reps at wide receiver, a position he will more than likely play in the NFL. It’s not easy doing what he’s doing. It just proves how tough-minded, how versatile a player he has become and I think he will excel in the NFL for a long time.”

Bowden, a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award for the nation’s most versatile player, currently leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally in all-purpose yardage, averaging 153.0 yards per game (note that all-purpose yardage does not include Bowden’s passing yardage as a quarterback). He is one of only three players in the top eight nationally with rushing, receiving, punt return and kickoff return yards.

The Youngstown, Ohio native, who earned First-Team Midseason All-America honors as an all-purpose player by The Associated Press and ESPN, is averaging 8.2 yards per rushing attempt, and is in contention to break the school record. That mark leads the SEC and ranks second nationally. He also is the only player in the nation leading his team in both rushing (1,235) and pass receiving (348). He ranks 13th on UK’s career receptions list with 114 and is 18th on the career receiving yards list with 1,303 yards.

Bowden ranks fifth on UK’s career all-purpose yardage list at 4,407 yards, trailing only Derek Abney, Rafael Little, Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb. He currently has 1,297 career rushing yards, 1,303 receiving yards, 1,608 kick return yards and 199 punt return yards. He also has passed for 422 yards and two touchdowns.

Kentucky finished the regular season 7-5 overall, 3-5 in the SEC and will face Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl on December 31 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com