The fact that D.D. Bowie is holding a college commitment ceremony on National Signing Day isn’t in itself a strange thing. That’s what high-profile recruits do on Signing Day, after all. What is a bit odd, though, is that Bowie already announced his college decision... 15 months ago.
The four-star wide receiver out of Morton, Miss. pledged to Ole Miss in October of 2015 and remains the highest-rated commit in Hugh Freeze’s 2017 class. He’s been rock solid for most of the time since, telling The Clarion-Ledger three months ago that there was “no doubt” he would be a Rebel. But Bowie’s commitment began to waver after his good buddy, five-star running back Cam Akers, picked Florida State in late December. The next week during check-in for the U.S. Army Bowl, Bowie voiced concern over Ole Miss’ ongoing NCAA investigation and said he would “find somewhere else” if the Rebels hadn’t learned their fate by Signing Day.
He told 247Sports at the time that he was “undecided.”
On Tuesday, Bowie announced that he’ll make a Signing Day decision between Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU and Alabama. The graphic he tweeted notes that he’s still committed to the Rebels, though that commitment seems only nominal at this point.
Notably absent from that list of finalists is Florida State, which Akers has already joined as an early enrollee. Bowie said during Army Bowl check-in that he would flip if Jimbo Fisher were to extend an offer, but the ‘Noles, who already have commitments from four-star D.J. Matthews and three-star Tamorrian Terry, never came calling.
SB Nation recruiting writer Bud Elliott told me earlier this month that Mississippi State, not FSU, is the greatest threat to steal Bowie. Sources from within the Bulldogs program told Will Sammon of The Clarion-Ledger that they feel good about the chances of nabbing the 6’1, 170-pound receiver following his official visit last weekend. Four-star State commit Kylin Hill, who was also in Starkville last weekend, said he thinks there’s a 95 percent chance Bowie flips. He’s been recruiting Bowie hard and wants the Grinder faithful to do the same by #TweetingAtCroots.
Bowie’s newly-scheduled announcement might very well be bad news for Ole Miss. It may be that the constant barrage of NCAA-centric propaganda from other recruiters has prompted him to genuinely reevaluate his decision, in which case Bowie’s ceremony on Feb. 1 probably doesn’t bode well for the Rebels. Why stage an announcement if you’re just going to re-commit to the same school?
Of course, there’s also the chance that this is simply an exercise in vanity—Bowie’s still a committed Rebel, but is seizing on the uncertainty stemming from his public trepidation in order to have his moment in the Signing Day sun. It’s good news that Bowie left Starkville still technically committed to the Rebs, and Freeze gets the opportunity to do some damage control this weekend during his official visit to Oxford.