Top SEC target: Florida target Byron Cowart impressed by McElwain hire
Byron Cowart ranks as the No. 1 strong-side defensive end and the No. 4 overall player for the 2015 class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. The Seffner, Fla., native is a five-star prospect that has received offers from 12 SEC schools.
Cowart is expected to stay in-state, with Florida and Florida State as the favorites to land the prized recruit. The Gators received 80 percent of 247Sports.com crystal ball predictions, but the Seminoles gained an advantage after the departure of former coach Will Muschamp.
But Cowart may have been swayed back to Gainesville after the hiring of new head coach Jim McElwain, who impressed the recruit after speaking with him on Sunday.
“We basically just talked for a while,” said Cowart. “I looked up his background and stuff and I know he knows what he is doing. He said that if I am really interested in Florida that I need to get a group of guys that all like Florida and to get things cracking and bring Florida back to where it used to be.
“I get to meet him in person this week, but two National Championships at Bama and bringing Colorado State to 10-2, and I think even ranked. He is a little cocky and that is a good thing because that means he is confident in what he does. The best thing he said is that he knows he has talent on his team and he knows there are guys on the bench that need to be starting.”
Cowart has played a crucial role in getting Armwood back in the 6A Florida state championship this upcoming weekend against Miami Central. He recorded 68 tackles, 21 for loss, 11 sacks, five fumbles forced and three blocked punts during the team’s 14 consecutive wins. For his efforts, the senior was named the Florida Dairy Farmers’ Class 6A player of the year.
Cowart’s best attributes are his first step and hand quickness. He also has impressive athleticism, closing speed, pursuit and point off attack skills. However, Cowart needs to improve his size and frame, according to 247Sports.