Russell, Bowe share uncommon bond on, off football field
By Keith Claverie The Daily Reveille

December 6, 2006

Baton Rouge, LA (CSTV U-WIRE) -- LSU junior quarterback JaMarcus Russell and senior receiver Dwayne Bowe did more than tie the score with their fourth-quarter score Nov. 18 against Ole Miss in Tiger Stadium.

The tandem's 6-yard score with 14 seconds remaining in the game puts them in first place at LSU for all-time pass-catch touchdowns in a career.

The unique bond between Russell and Bowe was put on display when the record was broken.

"JaMarcus told me before the play, 'Go to the left, and I need a big one out of you,'" Bowe said in a news release. "I told him, 'Just put it in my reach, and I promise I will come through for you.' As we lined up for the play, we both looked at each other because we knew we could do it."

Their 22nd career connection surpassed the old record set in 1986-1987 by quarterback Tommy Hodson and receiver Wendell Davis and put the two on a new level of LSU great duos.

"Going into the game we knew a record was up for grabs," LSU senior offensive lineman Brian Johnson said. "Our goal was winning the game, and honestly it didn't cross my mind until after the game when it was brought up. I was just happy we scored and that we were back into the game."

Johnson said the record is particularly special since the two are such good friends.

"After the game I was very happy for Bowe; through all the hard work he was able to catch that pass from JaMarcus - they're real good friends," Johnson said.

LSU junior safety Craig Steltz said the record and any record achieved by an LSU player is well-deserved.

"Anytime anyone on this team gets a reward or an achievement like that that they've worked hard for and busted their tail to get, it's very well-deserved," Steltz said.

Steltz said Bowe and Russell have a bond with each other that is unexplainable.

"JaMarcus always seems to find him," Steltz said. "I don't know if [Russell] knows [Bowe]'s gonna be there or if it's something that they know, 'You put the ball here, and I'm gonna catch it.' I'm sure they're is something special about it."

Steltz said the bond did not happen over night, but the two worked to develop during after-hours of practice.

"They're always together out here throwing," Steltz said. "Especially during the summer when we're working out together. I'm sure they're is a special bond that they've created between each other."

Hester said Russell's aim is not always in the direction of Bowe.

"JaMarcus is kind of close to Bowe and [senior receiver Craig] Buster [Davis] both," Hester said. "When they're out there he looks for them because they're two of the best receivers in the country. Why not look for them? There's definitely a chemistry between those three guys."

Johnson said that though receivers Davis, junior Early Doucet and freshman Brandon LaFell are all reliable, Bowe is his go-to guy.

"I just think every quarterback has a guy that they love to go to - that they depend on," Johnson said. "Being that Bowe is an awesome receiver, a big guy, I think JaMarcus just has faith that he's gonna be there. I just think they're might be a little more chemistry there."

Bowe is now No. 1 in two LSU categories after breaking the career touchdown-reception record set by former LSU great Michael Clayton.

Bowe grabbed a 5-yard touchdown Nov. 4 against the University of Tennessee to break Clayton's record. Bowe now has 25 touchdown receptions as a Tiger.

"That's pretty incredible - both of those marks," Hester said. "Especially Bowe having the career [record] with the kind of guys we've had here like Michael Clayton, Josh Reed, Wendell Davis. Any of those guys, it's a pretty incredible record. We're definitely gonna miss him."

Bowe said the single-season touchdown record is not something he wants any other Tigers to come close to.

"That's a great feeling," Bowe said. "I'll try to extend the lead so when I leave here hopefully nobody will be able to break it."

When Bowe graduates after this season, he and Russell will no longer be together in the purple and gold. Johnson said Russell will miss his No. 1 target.

"I think he'll definitely miss Bowe, but like I said he'll have Early Doucet here, which I don't really think he'll be missing too much," Johnson said.

Hester said Bowe will be missed, but the rest of the Tigers receiving corps will pick up the slack.

"I'm sure JaMarcus will miss him a little next year," Hester said. "He'll still have Early who is just as good as anybody in the country, so I don't think he'll miss a beat."

That is, of course, if Russell decides to stay at LSU for his senior year rather than go to the NFL Draft.

(C) 2006 The Daily Reveille via CSTV U-WIRE

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