"I don't want to say I have a favorite yet because it's just too early," O'Dowd said. "I guess I could say that these are the ones that I'm looking at more closely at right now."
"I'm definitely considering Ohio State. They offered me last June. I love Columbus. It's such a great little college town. They like to run the ball and that's what I'm used to. Plus, being in the Big Ten is just a whole different experience. I've talked with Coach (John) Peterson and he came down here at the end of April. I'm probably going to take one of my officials there.
"USC is another possibility," he said. "They offered me on April 4 after I went to their junior day. It was great. My coach told me to call Coach (Lane) Kiffin and when I did, Coach (Pete) Carroll came on the phone and told me I had the offer. My dad and I took a visit there this past Saturday (5/6). We met with Coach (Pat) Ruel and got to see the campus.
"I didn't really get to see the facilities since it was Saturday and everything was closed, but we watched some film with Coach Ruel. He said that they see me fitting in perfect with their type of offense. They run a lot of zone and it'll be easy to adjust to. My dad really liked Coach Ruel, especially when he said that he was ready to prepare me for the next level."
After his visit to USC, O'Dowd headed across town to Westwood to take a look at the Bruin campus.
"UCLA's campus has to be the best I've ever seen. The facilities and the campus were really impressive. When I got there I didn't know what to expect since I hadn't received an offer from them. But talking with Coach (Karl) Dorrell really helped me understand things. He told me that they only had nine or ten scholarships available to offer this year, so they're taking their time and being really careful in deciding where they go…that's why they hadn't offered me. Coach (Jim) Colletto and Coach Dorrell are really great guys. I felt a lot better knowing the situation they are in. I think they're waiting on me to tell them where I'm at before they give me the offer.
"Arizona is definitely up there…it's my home town school," O'Dowd said. "I'm getting a lot of pressure from everybody to go to Arizona. Coach (Eric) Wolford offered me in the middle of my sophomore year…it was my second offer. I love the campus and facilities and I know I could make a big impact my freshman year, but distance is not a big factor for me.
"I also like Tennessee and Nebraska. I don't really know much about them except that they both are great powerhouses. Nebraska offered in March. I haven't talked to them yet. I'm really curious to learn more about the program and the school.
"Tennessee offered the same day as USC," he said. "I've talked to Coach (Greg)Adkins. He said that I'd be a perfect fit for the Vols---aggressive and strong (bench presses 420). The coaches are coming down to my school this Thursday. I really want to meet them and discuss how they see me fitting into their program."
After visiting USC and UCLA, O'Dowd attended the Scout.com combine at Citrus College on Sunday, May 7.
"I really had a great time at the combine. I thought Scout did a great job. It was a nice little system…well organized. I think I performed well. I felt good about it. I got to compete against my good friend, Everson Griffen (defensive end), which was so great. My favorite was the one-on-ones. Everson and I went five times…he won two, I won two and one was a draw. We decided to stop after that. I just want to say thanks to Scout.com for a great day."
O'Dowd reports a 3.3 core GPA/May 6 first-time SAT.