Sack leader Ryan Bowman has earned more snaps on UW’s defense. Is a scholarship next?

Walk-on Ryan Bowman, “Baby Bow” to teammates, is earning an increasingly larger role on the UW defense.

Washington coach Chris Petersen was noncommittal this week when asked whether walk-on redshirt freshman Ryan Bowman had earned scholarship consideration with his strong start to the season.

Bowman’s emergence at the hybrid Buck outside linebacker position has been one of the pleasant surprises — perhaps the biggest surprise — on a UW defense that again ranks as the most stout in the Pac-12. The former Bellevue High School standout leads the Huskies with two sacks through four games.

If Bowman keeps this up throughout the season, Petersen surely won’t have to hesitate about doling out a scholarship.

“Ryan Bowman is doing a good job,” Petersen said. “Really appreciate how that guy is playing. He seems to be the one guy that’s always getting around the quarterback, doing a good job with all those things.”

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Late in the third quarter of UW’s victory at Colorado, Bowman used an inside spin move to beat Colorado’s right tackle and sack Steven Montez for a 5-yard loss. (The Huskies only rushed three defenders on the play and Colorado dedicated three blockers to UW’s star defensive tackle, Vita Vea, on the inside.)

On the next play, Azeem Victor sacked Montez to force a three-and-out and continue a dominant second half for the Huskies.

Bowman is listed at 6-feet, 262 pounds. UW coaches prefer a taller, leaner body type at the edge rusher/outside linebacker position, but Bowman is, ahem, Bucking the trend.

He played his senior year of high school at the IMG Academy in Florida, had preferred walk-on opportunities at Alabama, Miami, Michigan and North Carolina, plus scholarship offers from Montana, Montana State and Duquesne. He chose to come back home to UW in part to play alongside his older brother, Shane, a junior defensive lineman who signed with the Huskies as part of Petersen’s first recruiting class in 2014.

Shane is known as “Bow” to his teammates, so naturally Ryan is “Baby Bow.”

Ryan was UW’s scout-team defensive player of the year last year. He is now earning an increasingly larger role in UW’s defensive plans, pushing starter Benning Potoa’e for playing time.

“Ryan, he’s making the most of his opportunity and doing a nice job,” UW…

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