Tyus Bowser just finished his second NFL season with the Baltimore Ravens.
As he gets ready for year three, Bowser was in Tyler on Saturday to hold the second annual Tyus Bowser Youth Football Camp, hosted by Christus Trinity Mother Frances Health System at John Tyler High School.
“It’s huge to be able to have the opportunity to have these kids out here and have the city support me in what I do,” Bowser said. “I definitely take pride in it.”
Bowser, a former John Tyler Lion who played at the University of Houston, was taken in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Bowser has compiled 20 tackles with 3.5 sacks and an interception in two NFL seasons.
With the Ravens making some roster changes in the offseason, Bowser is looking to make the most of his opportunities in 2019.
“I want to prove to these coaches that they made the right decision in drafting me, taking a chance on me to represent that defense,” Bowser said. “Not everybody can play for the Ravens. To be able to have that opportunity, I want to go out there and put my best foot forward.”
Joining Bowser at the camp on Saturday was two-time Super Bowl champion Aaron Ross, who held 11 annual camps in Tyler but has now decided to pass the torch to Bowser.
“It means a lot to be one of the guys who started it and now have Tyus carry it on,” Ross said. “One thing that is instilled in us here at JT is the family atmosphere, so it’s good to be able to come out here and support each other. There’s a great turnout, and I’m excited to be here.”
Also helping at the camp were former Lions Greg Ward Jr., Fred Ross and Justice Liggins.
Ward has played for the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL and played for the San Antonio Commanders in the Alliance of American Football. After the AAF suspended football operations, Ward signed with the Eagles on April 9.
“It helped me a lot,” Ward said of his experience in the AAF. “It showed I can play inside (receiver) and out. I was able to show that I was very versatile. I think the AAF really helped me as far as getting back to the NFL.”
Ross is currently a free agent after spending time with the Carolina Panthers, and Liggins is on the roster of the Los Angeles Chargers.
There were dozens of aspiring football players on the field Saturday morning going through drills and hoping to one day follow in the footsteps of those like Bowser, Ross, Ward and Liggins.
“It’s great to come out here and work with these guys,” said John Tyler sophomore Kameron Key. “You get to see how they do it and how to work to get to where you want to be in life.”
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to come out here and work on everything that can help me improve,” said Arland Cleaver, who is from Mesquite and entering the eighth grade.
Bowser said he wants the young athletes to stay active and let them know that it takes hard work and dedication to get to the next level.