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July 4, 2009Back in the spring, Michael Bowman was confident he would make it.
When the school year at Rossville (Ga.) Ridgeland High drew to a close, the Rivals.com four-star wide receiver prospect was still confident that he would qualify academically and compete for playing time at Alabama this fall. And when he found out that he would still need summer school in order to make it happen, he still had no doubts.
A couple of weeks ago, however, when the good news he expected to hear didn't come, suddenly he wasn't quite so sure.
"I actually almost busted into tears - I thought I might have to wait until January," Bowman told BOL. "The process was taking so long, and there were different times when I was supposed to hear, and I didn't hear. I thought I might have to go to prep school or something."
Bowman finally got his good news on Thursday, and all that confidence he maintained throughout the arduous process was suddenly validated.
"They finally gave me a date [on when he would know]," Bowman said. "And they ended up getting everything straightened out. It was one of the best feelings of my life."
Bowman said he took an English class and a geography class in June in order to satisfy the last of his academic requirements. He will arrive at the Capstone today, and will begin taking classes at UA later this week for the Summer II session.
Players report for fall camp on Aug.5, and practice begins on Aug.6. Bowman, for one, is ready.
The younger brother of former Oklahoma State standout Adarius Bowman, Michael pulled in 1,022 receiving yards for Ridgeland in 2008 with 11 touchdowns on 36 receptions.
He said he is now 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds.
"I've been running a lot, and swimming a lot," he said. "They had me hold back on the weightlifting - I think they thought I was big enough. The coaches were more about me staying in shape."
Bowman was one of four wide receivers signed by the Crimson Tide in January, and the position is a clear area of need. Other than standout freshman Julio Jones, Alabama's wide receivers struggled for consistent production last season. That gives Bowman and other newcomers a unique opportunity.
Fellow wide receiver signee Kendall Kelly is a strong possibility for a grayshirt (deferred enrollment) due to his recovery from hip surgery, so Bowman could be one of only three newcomers competing at the position in fall camp. The other two - Kenny Bell and Kevin Norwood - have been participating in summer workouts since early June.
"I'm just ready to work hard and get started," Bowman said.