Brent Bowden Interview
Written by Curt Popejoy on 01/28/2010
The most underrated position on the field is the punter. A great punter is like a great defense in terms of field position. One of the best punters I saw this year was Brent Bowden from Virginia Tech. He's a fearless player, and a very talented prospect. Brent took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to talk with us.
Curt: What is your accurate height/weight/40 time?
Brent: Just under 6'3", about 202 right now, and I would guess around a 4.85 - nothing spectacular haha.
Curt: You are playing in the Texas V. The Nation game this weekend. What are your personal goals for that game?
Brent: It's the first opportunity to get a taste of the NFL and see how the business works. I'd like to soak up as much information as I can and get acclimated to it. At the same time, I just want to enjoy the entire week, meet some new people, and have some fun playing the sport I love. My agent, Rob Roche of RSR Sports Management has done a great job or preparing me on what to expect during the week at El Paso.
Curt: You have been one of the best punters in the nation all season long. What would you consider the real strength of your game?
Brent: For me, the strength of my performance generates first and foremost from my mental state. Great punts will come as long as I have great thoughts. I've worked probably harder on the mental aspect of the position than the physical aspect in the past year and it's made all the difference. So in short, my mental approach and attitude is what I consider my biggest strength.
Curt: What is an area of your game that you see as something you need to work on at the next level?
Brent: Maintaining consistency. Nothing is more important. I feel like I'm consistent right now but every punter can always get more consistent, including me.
Curt: One of the most athletic players in the NFL is Buffalo punter Brian Mooreman. What is your philosophy on the idea of a punter as an athlete?
Brent: I think it's not only great, but important that a punter or kicker be an athlete as well. I hate being told that I "just kick a ball" so I take my physical training very seriously. I made sure while I was at Tech and high school that my teammates and coaches saw that I was working just as hard if not harder than everyone else. That earns you respect as more than a specialist. It also helps tremendously with your skill by being athletic, so the benefit is two-fold.
Curt: Who was the best punt returner you faced in college and how did you approach kicking to him?
Brent: That would be a tie between C.J. Spiller and Javier Arenas. I went against C.J. when we were both sophomores and his speed is just impressive on the field but I didn't focus on him being back there. I just did what I had been doing all year. This year when we played Alabama, Coach Beamer really emphasized hang-time leading up to the game because of Javier, and I knew he was a great returner. But instead of being scared or nervous about it, I took it as a great opportunity to show how good I can be as well. My goal going into the game was to hang it up and make him fair catch everything, and I ended up having one of the best games of my career.
Curt: You are an accomplished musician and music lover. First, how does music help you as a football player?
Brent: Music became my love after I started playing guitar at 8 years old and has always been a great way of expressing myself, especially when I started writing and recording songs a couple years ago. Once I started playing football, that took over and I put music on the back burner but it always gave me a great way to unwind and forget about everything. When I play or make or listen to music, I get lost in it. At the same time, it enhances whatever emotion you're feeling so I use it to get in the mindset I need before games. I actually am very OCD about my music routine before a game.
Curt: And second, what's the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
Brent: Hahaha... I actually have to think about this one because there are a few. I'm going to have to go with "On The Way Down" by Ryan Cabrera.
Curt: Is there a player in the NFL you consider is similar to your style of play?
Brent: I wouldn't necessarily say we have similar styles but I love watching Shane Lechler. The guy just drops bomb after bomb and he makes it look so effortless. He is calm and collected pretty much under any situation because he has so much confidence in his ability. That's what I want to emulate.
Curt: What will the rest of your offseason be like, leading up to the draft?
Brent: Well I'll be heading to El Paso this weekend for the Texas vs. the Nation game. Then, I'll be making my way to Indy for the combine in a couple of weeks. Then pro day and individual workouts after that leading up to the draft. Oh and there's this little thing called school in between haha. I'm finishing my 2nd bachelor's degree in Business Information Technology this semester and I'll have that wrapped up for May graduation. So when I'm back at Tech, I'll be training by lifting 3 times a week, running in between lifting days, and kicking 4 times a week.
Curt: Punters being drafted usually means they have something special about their game. The entire league is listening. Why do they draft Brent Bowden?
Brent:Because I sincerely believe that I can be a 15-20 year veteran. I haven't even come close to reaching my full potential yet. I'm a very hard-working, committed, team-oriented kind of player. I have confidence in my abilities and believe in myself, but at the same time, I'm one of the most humble guys you will ever meet and like to keep it that way. It's a blessing to be even have an opportunity like this so I will always have fun playing.
Curt: Thanks so much for your time Brent, and I wish you all the best!
Last Edited: 01/28/2010