Bowser’s versatility allows him to shell out punishment

Freshman defensive end Tyus Bowser racked up nine tackles and one and one-half sacks against Rice in the Bayou Bucket.  |  Justin Tijerina/The Daily Cougar

Freshman defensive end Tyus Bowser racked up nine tackles and one and one-half sacks against Rice in the Bayou Bucket. | Justin Tijerina/The Daily Cougar

At John Tyler High School, freshman defensive end Tyus Bowser never left the field.

He played quarterback, running back, tight end, receiver, outside linebacker and defensive end. As a senior, Bowser accumulated 24 sacks, five forced fumbles, and one rushing, receiving and passing touchdown. He even successfully boxed opponents out on the basketball court, earning Division I scholarship offer to Oral Roberts.

His diverse skill set has already helped the Cougars.

Following an injury to sophomore defensive end Eric Eiland, Bowser cracked the team’s depth chart and made the most of increased opportunities during the Bayou Bucket. Against Rice, Bowser had 1 and 1/2 sacks, seven tackles and 2 and 1/2 tackles for loss. But Bowser proved he wasn’t a one-dimensional pass rusher — he dropped back into coverage and caught an interception.

Bowser’s performance wasn’t a surprise inside the locker room, according to junior defensive end Trevor Harris, who had nine total tackles and two quarterback hurries. The two defensive ends push each other to improve during free time because they share an apartment.

“We feed off each other a whole lot and he comes to me and he gets feedback from me and I get feedback from him,” Harris said. “He asks me, ‘what move should I do or what should I expect,’ because I watch film all the time and I’m like his mentor.”

Bowser has become a valued member of the Cougars’ improved defensive.

In three games, the defense has surrendered 52 points, the lowest total UH has given up in the first three games since 1999. The defensive line’s improvement against the run is a big part of the 3-0 start.

Last season, the Cougars gave up 740 rushing yards and allowed five running backs to gain at least 95 yards in three games. This season, the team has surrendered 378 rushing yards and hasn’t allowed a running back to gain more than 95 yards.

The development of young defensive linemen like Bowser, redshirt freshman Cameron Malveaux, junior Jeremiah Farley and junior Eric Braswell has given the Cougars an 8-man rotation, head coach Tony Levine said.

“With the second team, I think that coach Logo has done a fantastic job of bringing them along and getting them experience,” Levine said on Sept. 17. “That’s what we’ve talked about as a staff. We’ve got some young guys who have not played before, and as a staff, we’ve got to put them in the game and let them make mistakes and learn, but they’ll continue to improve over the course of the season.”

For Bowser, his teammates and coaching staff expect him to add more than depth once his body matures and he gains more experience.

“Tyus Bowser — he’s going to be something serious when he gets older and meaner. He’s a great athlete,” said senior defensive back Thomas Bates.

“He’s humble. He studies his playbook. I just like to see him in the backfield making plays.”

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