Nigel Bowden getting used to recruiting

For Macon (Ga.) Central ESPNU Watch List LB, Nigel Bowden, he's just trying to get used to all the attention. He never really expected recruiting to get so big so fast.

"Vandy has already offered him and teams like Georgia, Florida, Auburn and Alabama are all recruiting him pretty hard already," Central coach Brent Thornton said. "I know it's going to get a little crazy around here."

Bowden, 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, made a name for himself this spring by standing out at the star-studded Georgia Nike Football Training camp.

"He came back from that event and told me there were a lot of guys like him," Thornton said. "I wasn't there but I was told he did very, very well."

Thornton knows that Bowden is a guy to build a defense around and he's done just that this season.

"Nigel is stronger, faster and smarter than last season," Thornton said. "He has really improved. He just recognizes things so much faster and quicker. He gets to the football. Despite seeing blockers thrown his way he's still making plays. They are getting to him but he's getting away. Nigel is just a downhill player that can shed and tackle."

For Bowden, it's not that complicated.

"It's simple -- you blow things up," he said. "Anything coming my way and I will come at you and make the play."

Vanderbilt has been very active in the Peach State already landing seven prospects for its 2012 class. And with Bowden, the Commodores have already grabbed his attention.

"I love those coaches," Bowden said. "They are playing well. They are good guys. They kept checking on me when I hurt my knee this spring. I really like them."

In fact, Bowden currently has a top three of Vandy, Georgia and Florida.

"Those are the schools I really like," Bowden said. "With Florida and Georgia I also like those coaches and I felt at home at both places."

Something important to Bowden and his family is academics, so this will be more than just a football decision.

"The classroom is big to me and my family," Bowden said. "It's always been important. If I don't do well they won't let me play. I can't even have any C's."

Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting both in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at jamienewbergbw@yahoo.com.