For the past month Gerald Bowman has been pulled in opposite directions.
Should he go to a more rural Oklahoma, or a big city school like USC?
Will he play where he can start right away, or be motivated with a bit of competition?
What mattered more, the Sooner pride or the Trojan network?
Those questions were answered Wednesday when the five-star, 6-1, 215-pound safety chose USC, 30 miles from his Woodland Hills (Calif.) Pierce junior college.
“It was a very, very tough decision, Bowman said in an announcement Wednesday at Pierce. “Ultimately it came down to me and my success after football and I can't explain how much I stressed that to everyone, as far as my life after football. And I just felt as though USC was a great fit.”
The highly-sought after Bowman was offered by schools all across the country, and took official visits to the Trojans, Sooners, Miami and California. An expected early enrollee, Bowman talked about what separated USC from the others.
"The education [and] everyone was kind of leaning towards USC out here, for the simple fact that I'll be able to reach out to them for anything, support and that was one of the main things that came down to me and my decision," Bowman said.
“I have nothing against any other school or anything like that,” Bowman said. "They will be who they are with or without me. I just felt as though USC was the best decision for me."
Looking at the Trojans’ class of defensive backs in 2012, one has graduated in Marshall Jones and one might leave early for the NFL in T.J. McDonald.
Thus, Bowman’s contribution to USC will likely be a major one. Early projected starters are seniors Drew McAllister and Jawanza Starling, which gives Bowman ample opportunity to compete for a starting spot coming in as a transfer, as cornerback Isiah Wiley did in 2011, coming from Arizona West junior college.
“God willing. Only unless I get hurt you won't see me on that field," Bowman said. "And I guarantee that."
"I've been talking with the defensive staff and they told me some ways how they want to utilize me and I think I'll be able to fit in perfectly."
Bowman will begin fitting in with the Trojans on or around Jan. 9, when he enrolls at the beginning of USC's spring semester.