It's been a busy week for blue chip defensive end Byron Cowart from powerhouse Seffner (Fla.) Armwood. He first tripped with his team at a UCF padded camp. Then went from Orlando to Bradenton to join his Team Tampa 7-on-7 team for the IMG Nationals. Then Cowart immediately left for an unofficial visit to South Bend. It was a trip he almost cancelled.
"I almost didn't go," Cowart said. "I was tired and really didn't feel up to it. It's been a hard few days. I haven't really been home in a week since last Wednesday. But I promised the coach. To be honest, I am so glad that I went. Right now I am really feeling Notre Dame."
Cowart, one of the most covered defensive ends in the nation, wants to get in as many trips as possible between now and the start of fall camp. He has been to Florida, Florida State and Auburn thus far. Seeing the Fighting Irish was definitely on his recruiting bucket list and it sounds like a return trip this fall could be in the works.
"It was a great experience that I didn't expect. But I made a promise that I would go," Cowart said. "Everything thinks they push the Catholic thing on you and they really don't. I loved the coaches. I loved the town. I loved the campus. South Bend is all about Notre Dame and the alum are everywhere."
"I knew I needed to see Notre Dame and I will likely be back this fall."
People assume Cowart will be a Florida Gator. The funny thing is that Cowart says he already knows where he wants to go. But the public decision won't come until the Under Armour Game in early January.
"I get that a lot and I guess I understand where that comes from," Cowart said. "I obviously like Florida and there have been a few players from my school that have gone to school there and played football. It's a natural thing.
"I know where I want to go but at the same time I am going to keep all my options open and visit as many schools as I can. I have a blueprint for each school. What people have to understand is that I am not going anywhere because of football. It's about everything else, especially Sports Broadcasting and what happens after school. That's what I am looking for. That's what I want. Football will be there. Football will be my job."
Cowart , 6-foot-3, 255-pounds, is coming home so he can leave again. He has an early morning flight to Maryland to check out the Terrapins.
"I am coming home now and then have to get up early tomorrow so I can go to see Maryland," Cowart said. "Then I will come home and get ready for The Opening. While I am out there I definitely want to see Stanford and USC. I hope I can get some more visits in before practice starts in August because once that happens I am shutting things down."
Cowart is the nation's No. 4 ranked defensive end.