Bowman's goal to be best receiver

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

Receiver Adarius Bowman stood on the sidelines at Blue Bombers rookie camp yesterday and talked about the mistake that brought him to Canada.

Bowman was still in his teens when he was busted for marijuana possession while at Oklahoma State University, in April of last year. That, after leaving the University of North Carolina under a haze of suspicion two years earlier.

Hyped as a Heisman Trophy candidate, Bowman saw his dreams of being drafted by an NFL team go up in smoke -- along with, probably, hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Yesterday, a gregarious Bowman said while he's grown as a person since, he wouldn't change anything.

"If I changed it, I'd miss out on all this," he said, looking at the field, where Bomber rookies smacked heads. "Everything happens for a reason. The money's going to come. I'm 23. You telling me I'm not going to have an opportunity to make more money? It probably would have happened later down the road. It happened at the right time."

Bowman came to the Bombers in a trade with Saskatchewan, where he began his pro career with 23 grabs and three touchdowns in nine games last season.

He'd already rededicated himself to an off-season of becoming the best receiver he could be. At 6-foot-4, 219-pounds, the possibilities are endless.

"I've got big things planned for this season," Bowman said. "I'm trying to be the best receiver in the league."

Playing behind Derick Armstrong, Terrance Edwards and Romby Bryant, he'll have plenty on his plate just trying to be the best on his team.

To get a head start, Bowman came to Winnipeg three weeks ago, and has been doing film work and working out.

"A lot different" approach to a season, he admits.

"I feel like I've had a lot of time to grow as a person and as a player, and focus on the things I need to work on," he said.

Bomber head coach Mike Kelly gave up all-star offensive lineman Dan Goodspeed in the trade that brought Bowman here. And the Bombers have since signed him to a contract extension that ties him to the team through 2010.

If Bowman can excel here, who knows, he might get that shot at the NFL.

If not, he plans on making headlines for the right reasons, from now on.

"I made some mistakes growing up," Bowman said. "I'm not a cancer to this team. I'm past that. I accept it. I did it."


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