Sidney’s Isaiah Bowser missed lots of playing time this season as the featured and most powerful running back for the Central Florida Knights. The knee injury became a distant memory eight nights ago as he gained 155 yards on 35 carries including two TDs as his team pulled away from Florida to capture the Gasparilla Bowl 29-17 in Tampa before almost 64,000 fans and an ESPN audience.
The knee is fine and the Northwestern transfer is mulling over whether to use his final year of eligibility which is available from COVID in 2020.
“I really like it here,” he told the Orlando Sentinel after the game. “We’ll see.”
Bowser is viewed as an NFL prospect but would likely be well served by returning to UCF and being able to stay on the field for a full season. The Knights finished 9-4.
Last Friday I wrote about Sidney City Schools elementary basketball in the mid-1960’s, specifically Craig Morris and John Freytag of Orange Township. Craig played two seasons for coach Bob Knight at Indiana, and John just informed us that he also has a Knight connection from a visit the coach made to Oxford in 1971 before the start of Knight’s first season with the Hoosiers.
“In the fall of my freshman year at Miami, Coach Knight traveled to Oxford and put on a coaching clinic for high school coaches at Millett Hall. The five scholarship Miami freshmen were on the floor for the clinic and were his ‘guinea pigs’ to demonstrate anything he wanted to convey to the coaches in the stands. So, I never played a game for him but I was ‘coached’ by him once. Afterwards I asked him about the 1960 Ohio State National Champions. He acknowledged (his membership on) the team but without much emotion or attachment.”
I recently talked to a player from Urban Meyer’s two seasons at Bowling Green which launched his head coaching career in 2001-02. Urban was recently fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars as he won only two games and didn’t complete his inaugural pro season. Was the BG alum surprised that Meyer’s magic that led to national titles at both Florida and Ohio State didn’t translate to the NFL?
“No, not in the least. I could see it coming. His (controlling methods) didn’t sell to well paid players in the NFL,” he opined before offering a positive. “Urban Meyer is still a fabulous coach. He turned us around immediately and installed an innovative spread offense that soon was in wide use.”
Josh Johnson QB
The Baltimore Ravens needed am emergency starting QB last Sunday in Cincinnati and turned to journeyman Josh Johnson which immediately got my attention. I was the stadium announcer for the Dayton Flyers when Johnson and his San Diego Toreros visited in late October 2007 for the Pioneer Football League game of the year.
We knew that Josh was being pursued by the NFL and he showed signs of excellence on that day but Coldwater product and QB Kevin Hoyng led UD to the 35-16 win before a big crowd at Welcome Stadium. Five weeks later the Flyers became Division I non-scholarship national champs.
I accidentally met Johnson when I stopped for dinner at Golden Corral in north Dayton and not far from the Dayton airport where the team was headed. I introduced myself to new coach Ron Caragher and asked if I could say hello to his quarterback. Josh was congenial and I wished him well. He became a fifth-round choice of Tampa Bay the following spring.
Before Caragher, Johnson was coached by current Michigan head man Jim Harbaugh, brother of the longtime Baltimore Ravens mentor John Harbaugh.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Happy New Year!