Among the premier talents from the 2024 class is DB/WR Khaliq Bowen, who was recently named to the Youth1's first ever Next Up Watchlist. The Next Up Watchlist is a list designed to highlight the rising stars from the 7th grade around the country.
"I feel excited this is a honor and is why I grind so hard me making the Next Up Watchlist is just another step in the right direction I’m trying to take by getting noticed," Bowen told Youth1.com.
"It just makes me want to continue to get to work and work extremely hard to make sure I’m not cheating myself of opportunities in store for me," he added.
Making the Next Up Watchlist is a testament to the budding potential and talent that Bowen possesses. Bowen is the type of athlete coaches dream about. He plays a variety of positions and always makes a significant impact on the game.
For Bowen, balling out on the football field is something he's extremely passionate about.
"My favorite part of playing football is hitting and making big plays while battling together with my team," Bowen said.
"The positions I play now are WR, RB, and CB. On offense I just like scoring touchdowns and making explosive plays to spark my team and on defense I love playing DB it’s the hitting covering and taking the ball away fumbles or interceptions because you can just feel the energy come your way," he added.
Standing at 5'2" 105 lbs., Bowen is an absolute terror from the DB spot. He's outstanding in run support and isn't afraid to lay down a big hit. Throw the ball Bowen's direction at one's own discretion, as he's a known playmaker that will quickly shutdown most any throw that comes in his direction.
His ability to make game-changing plays shines on the offensive end as well. He can play both RB and WR. Bowen has good hands to snag the ball out the air, and the speed to outpace defenders.
The Columbus, OH native most recently played for Bexley Middle School where, he started on the 8th grade team as a 7th grader.
Bowen believes that his game is progressing at a very good rate. Film study has become a major part of his growth.
"I feel like I’m progressing as a football player because I’m starting to really study film not just looking at the good plays, but looking at the bad ones where I’m finding out when you see yourself it’s kind of easier to correct yourself I’m really starting to like film a lot," Bowen said.
"Some of my strengths on the field are tackling and tracking the football," he added.
Bowen is dedicated to the game of football and working hard to become the best possible version of himself. With constant improvement on his mind, Bowen has areas of his game he's working on.
"Areas of my game I’m working on is making sure keeping the right amount of cushion between me and the receiver to keep me in the best position to make the play and to make a little bit more plays outside of my area," Bowen said.
"The main thing I’m working on for the next level is speed and strength that’s why I’m going to continue to run track for my school and track club and I'm competing for the wrestling team for my school which is my first year along with all this I will be living in the weight room," he added.
DB/WR Khaliq Bowen is among the top athletes from the 2024 class. Being named to the Next Up Watchlist speaks to his talent level and this is just the beginning. For Bowen, success comes both on the field and in the classroom.
"My successes are that the first quarter had just ended and I received all A’s my parents were very proud of me. This past season As a 7th grader I started for the 8th grade football team and had a successful season that made me feel like all my hard work is paying off," Bowen said.
For more on Khaliq Bowen, check out his Youth1 Player Profile -> here.
View the entire Next Up Watchlist -> here.
View Bowen's highlights below.
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