Public image prompts Lynn Bowden to cut trademark dreadlocks

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - In an effort to better connect with UK football fans this upcoming season, Wildcats’ wide receiver Lynn Bowden cut his hair. Gone are Bowden’s trademark dreadlocks.

“I felt like if I cut my hair, everybody could see my face, instead of hiding behind my hair," Bowden explained.

Why hide behind his hair? Bowden admits he's shy around UK fans.

“I really don’t like to meet new people or talk to new people,” Bowden explained. “I’m coming out of my shell.”

“He’d been talking about if for a while,” head coach Mark Stoops said. “When he came back, he came into my office. He looked good.”

The Youngstown, Ohio native enters fall training camp as UK’s leading returning receiver. His 67 catches last year are a school-record for a sophomore. Bowden admits, when it comes to UK fans, he needs to be more of a people-person.

“I feel like I did a poor job of interacting with them,” Bowden explained. “Even at the Cat Walk, I need to interact more with fans, get with them and take more pictures with them.”

“We always talk about your image and the brand you’re building,” UK offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said. “He wants to build a brand.”

Bowden hopes that by lopping off the locks, fans will see him in a different light.

“The helmet is for business casual on the turf or on the grass,” Bowden joked.

“When the fans see me, I want them to see how I look, not the stereotype that they give me, because I have all the tattoos and I had the dreads,” Bowden said more seriously.

“I want them to accept me for who I am.”

“He’s doing really good academically this semester,” Stoops said. “He needs to stay working hard, and continue to do good on and off the field.”