Bessemer, Ala. product LaDarius Owens has recently taken a different approach to his recruitment by changing his mind on an early commitment and deciding to be more observant of what other schools have to offer.
“I thought about it and I agree that I want to be fair to all of the schools that I have not gotten to see yet,” said Owens. “I really want to give everyone a fair chance and this way, if I committed early, I would not have to go back on that if I see somewhere that might fit me better.
“I felt like I had gotten far away from my recruiting and it was way too early to make this big of a decision,” added Owens. “It would not be fair to the other schools and it would not be fair to me.”
Owens, the No. 24 outside linebacker in the country, said that he would like to get around to a few unofficial visits to some Southeastern schools including Clemson, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, LSU, and Florida State during the fall.
But what does the 6-foot-3, 230-pound backer think about his official visits?
“The only one that I am certain about is LSU,” said Owens. “My mom and I don’t think we need to see anything more here in our state, so we are not going to give official visits to Auburn or Alabama. I know I want to get down to the LSU-Florida game because LSU has been one of my favorites for a while and that is going to be a beast of a game.”
Has the Jess Lanier product shifted up his top five going into his senior campaign?
“In no particular order, it’s Auburn, LSU, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida State,” said Owens. “I will get an order going after I give some other schools a shot and I will probably commit at the end or after my season.”
Owens has finished up a busy summer following camps at LSU, Auburn and Tennessee and he had some good things to say about what he heard from LSU defensive backs coach Ron Cooper after spending some time with him in Baton Rouge back in June.
“Coach Cooper is a cool guy and he said they were looking at me for my versatility on third down,” said Owens. “He said they would want me to move around and maybe put my hand down and get after that quarterback…which is fine with me.”
When Owens almost got tired of the process early at the end of last month he said that he received an email from Cooper, who was quite happy to hear what he had to say.
“I called coach Cooper a couple of weeks ago and told him everything was straight and they don’t need to worry because I’m coming to LSU on an official visit and an unofficial late or after the season,” stated Owens. “They will get their shot at me and coach enjoyed hearing that.”
When asked who he thought would win the matchup if he makes it to town the weekend of the Florida game, Owens gave a reply that Tiger fans wanted to hear.
“LSU, if they can stop Tebow,” laughed Owens. “I think they will because that game is going to be too much noise for any opposing QB.”
Owens, who is still considered to be a lean to stay in-state, maintains a 2.8 grade point average and scored a 20 on the ACT. His uncle, James Owens, was the first African American scholarship football player at Auburn.
After only one year on the varsity squad, LaDarius racked up 92 tackles, forced three fumbles and recovered one last season.