Bowers appears to be tapping into his immense talent following an outstanding bowl performance, with equally dominant preseason work. The sophomore sat down with The Post and Courier's Travis Sawchik to talk about the upcoming season, which many are expecting to be his breakout campaign.

Even as the No. 1 prospect in the country, according to ESPN, you encountered a steep learning curve last season. Talk about what you learned from your first college season and where you are heading into your second year.

"The thing I had to work on most was my mentality about the game. It's more mental than physical, actually. When you come in you are not sure exactly how to approach it coming from high school. Everybody in high school you are either better than or a whole lot better than. I was fortunate to be ranked kind of high, my mentality coming in I didn't know what to expect so I had to make transitions throughout the year. This year I just came in with a different mindset."

What's changed about playing under a new defensive coordinator?

"My technique is polished up because of coach (Kevin) Steele and his (aggressive) scheme. It's looking good. I'm really excited about the season."

You and Brandon Thompson really came on at the end of the season and have performed well in the preseason. How good is this defensive line?

"I think our wins are going to come from winning in the trenches on both sides of the ball. I feel like we have a great defensive and offensive line. I think we can get it done on both sides of the ball."

Your bookend at defensive end, Ricky Sapp, has received glowing reports from Dabo Swinney coming off ACL surgery. Has he been as good as advertised this camp?

"Excellent, better than he was."

I know Brad Scott has his offensive linemen watch tape of NFL teams with similar blocking schemes like the Colts and Steelers. Are there any teams or players you pay particular attention to?

"I study (former Clemson defensive end) Gaines Adams. Our bodies are built a lot alike. We played in a similar scheme as Tampa Bay."

Talk about your music background? You grew up around music. Your father, Dennis Bowers, is part of the gospel group The Legendary Singing Stars. We understand you can handle a guitar about as well as an offensive tackle, and that you have done some touring with the group. Does it cross over at all to football?

"I've always played gospel. In my spare time I play a little R & B, a little Jazz depending on the mood I'm in. ... I say music is my breakaway from football it just kind of soothes my body out and allows me to think about certain things. It just gets my mind away from everything else."