Coming into his own

A few months ago, Seffner (Fla.) Armwood coach Sean Callahan told me that his rising junior defensive end Byron Cowart was "starting to figure things out". Boy he wasn't kidding, as Cowart and his teammates destroyed rival Tampa Hillsborough in a makeup game last night. Cowart talks about his progression and where he's going this weekend.

One of the big time prospects from the Sunshine State in the next class of 2015 is defensive end Byron Cowart from Seffner (Fla.) Armwood. Cowart and his teammates took on rival Tampa Hillsborough last night. They dominated the line of scrimmage and really got after the opposing quarterback, junior Dwayne Lawson.

"We were redeeming ourselves from last year," Cowart said. "I also know Dwayne very well. We train together and I know how good he really is. He's big. He's fast. He's athletic. I mean he's a really good player. To beat Hillsborough you after to get after him or he will kill you. He can make plays with his legs or his arm. You have to stay after him. That's what we did tonight."

It was more like a jail break on every play. Cowart and his d-line mates Devonte Myles and Hyriam Frederick absolutely dominated on every single play. They harassed Lawson every snap to the point where he didn't really even have time to look at his first option. Rarely did Lawson have more than two seconds before they were all over him, attacking.

The key was Cowart, who moved all over their three-man front. He lined up at zero, one and five-technique. Cowart recorded one sack, had several narrow misses and pressured his friend for four quarters. He looks vastly improved over one year ago.

"I have worked hard and I am much better than last year as a sophomore," Cowart said. "My technique is better. I am playing my assignments. I am staying low and getting off the ball. When I really turn it on and ball out I am unblockable."

Cowart, 6-foot-4 and 255-pounds, is also very active. That's one thing that's really changed since I saw him last season against American Heritage. His motor doesn't stop. Cowart was making plays down the field or on the other side in pursuit. He plays fast, gets off the ball well and at times showed he had violent hands to shed blockers.

In terms of recruiting, Cowart says he will be in Gainesville this weekend to watch Florida host Tennessee. He's meeting some friends up there in CeCe Jefferson (Glen St. Mary, Fla./Baker County) and George Brown (Cincinnati, Ohio/Winston Woods).

"We all talk about going to the same school," Cowart said. "But it's talk. We will see what happens. I hope it works out but I know we all have to do what we have to do.

"I am not ready to commit. Florida is the team that I grew up a fan of. I think people just assume that because of that that's where I am going to go. That's not true. Yeah, I like the Gators. But I also grew up a fan of teams like Oregon and Alabama. I am still open and want to see some schools, especially Oregon."

Jamie has been covering college football recruiting since 1992 and is entering his ninth year with and FOXSportsNext. He's currently a National Recruiting Analyst and Manager for the state of Florida. Jamie is also covering the NFL Draft for the network.
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