Lawrence High quarterback commits to Tulsa, will be first LHS quarterback since 1987 to play Division I

photo by: Landon Cory/Special to the Journal-World

Lawrence quarterback Banks Bowen scrambles for a touchdown against Dodge City High School on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023.

It only took one year of playing quarterback for Lawrence High School’s Banks Bowen to earn Division I scholarship offers, and on Wednesday, Bowen committed to the University of Tulsa.

The rising senior for the Lions played safety for most of his football career, along with many other positions around the field. But quarterback wasn’t one of those positions until last year.

Bowen got to work with a private quarterback coach. His father and head coach, Clint Bowen, helped him change positions.

“We used (the private coach’s) drills, and me and my dad go to the field quite a bit, so we got better and better,” Bowen said. “(My dad) was reading books and watching videos on how to throw the football right.”

It culminated in a season where the quarterback threw for 1,775 passing yards and 13 touchdowns with another 1,005 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. His 2,781 total yards led all 6A Kansas players.

Lawrence High School is a big part of the Bowen family. His dad is the coach and a former player. His grandfather and an uncle played for Lawrence, too. To be the first quarterback from the school to play Division I football since Lance Flachsbarth for the University of Kansas in 1987 is a historic feat that adds to the LHS legacy in his family.

The Tulsa Golden Hurricane is entering its second year under coach Kevin Wilson, with the team going 4-8 in his first year. The team’s most recent winning season was a 7-6 campaign in 2021 that ended with a four-game win streak and a Myrtle Beach Bowl win over Old Dominion.

Wilson — a longtime offensive coordinator at schools like Oklahoma and Ohio State and former head coach at Indiana — runs a fast-paced offense that has produced a lot of offensive firepower. He was Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator during Sam Bradford in Bradford’s 2008 Heisman season and coached eventual first-round picks Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields at Ohio State.

Tulsa was one of the first schools to contact Bowen. A coach came and talked with Bowen, which led to Bowen getting in touch with quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis. A game-day visit to Tulsa on Nov. 4 against Charlotte shortly preceded the official offer.

Bowen said he likes to model his game like Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, particularly as a quarterback who isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder and run a defender over. Given that Bowen is used to playing more hitting-oriented positions like safety, the comparison makes sense — and the 1,005 rushing yards back it up.

Bowen still has some time before he joins the Golden Hurricane. In the meantime, he has lofty goals for the final year with the Lions — state championship goals. A second season at the position could mean a deeper playoff run. Last year, the Lions won 23-20 over Dodge City in the first round of the playoffs before losing 48-6 to Derby, the eventual runner-up, in the second round.

“I’m excited — I think it’s going to be a really fun senior year,” he said. “I think we have a good team going … I think we’ll have a run. Obviously, we want to win the state championship, and I think we have a chance this year.”


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.