That didn't mean, however, that the 49ers in general and coach Mike Singletary specifically weren't familiar with him. "He was one of the guys we really set a personal interview with at the [scouting] combine and sat down and talked with him and really worked our way through that," Singletary explained. "After the interview I felt good about the possibilities of taking him, so I'm sure he has worked through some of his issues and has matured."
The issues to which Singletary alluded include Bowman being suspended for two games for helping a teammate beat up a man at a party. He was also placed on an extra year of probation for not having done any of the 100 hours of court-ordered community service he was given and has gotten in trouble for smoking marijuana in the past as well.
Not that it's any excuse, but Bowman had been dealing with a lot of dramatic things in his personal life, losing both parents in a close time span and also being a father of an infant. Always thinking rationally and doing the right thing sounds easy enough to do, but until you're in a man's shoes...
"If something has come up here and there, we find out and we question the kid about it and a lot of times you can tell whether he's still doing those things or if's put those things behind him and moved forward, Singletary said of Bowman.
"It's a very interesting time. It's only 15 minutes, but it's amazing what you can find out in 15 minutes."
For his part Bowman told reporters during his conference call that he felt his conversation with Singletary went well and that he's happy to play for a coach "who instills hard work and discipline."
On the field, Bowman had few peers. He was named second-team All-America by several publications, and he led Penn State defenders in tackles for loss (17) and was second in tackles (93, 52 solo stops). The 49ers have a slew of OLBs already, but Bowman suggested he can play inside as well.
"I just talked to him and asked him how much he weighed and he said '240,' so he could play 'Ted' or 'Mike' at that weight," Singletary said, naming the two inside linebacker spots in the 49ers defense. "Right now he's going to add depth. At the beginning he's going to help out on special teams and work his tail off to learn the defense and some of the things we do."
One thing's for sure, for Bowman to prove himself worthy enough, both on and off the field to play a big role for the 49ers, it's going to take a lot more than 15 minutes.