DL Says UM is Dream School

When it comes to recruiting high school athletes, one of the most difficult positions to recruit is defensive tackle because of the lack of quality and quanity at the position every year. This year, Plantation is home to one of the best around. At 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds, Jeffrey Owens is the real deal.

A three-sport star that also participates in varsity wrestling and track, Owens likes the competition.

"I ain't too good in wrestling but it kept me in shape and I enjoyed the competition," Owens said. "In track, I throw the shot (52 feet last year) and discus (140)."

The talented defensive lineman is quickly developing into one of the state's top defensive prospects after dominating opposing offenses last year. He was a first team All-State selection as a junior.

"I'm working really hard right now," he said. "This is my senior year coming up. A lot of people are going to be watching me and I know this is a big opportunity for me. My team's gonna really need me this year."

Owens has been getting plenty of recruiting attention from many of the nation's top college programs already.

"The only school that has sent me an offer so far is Auburn but I'm getting a lot of interest," he said. "I get a stack of letters all the time, a lot of them are handwritten. I get stuff a lot from Miami, Florida State, Oklahoma, LSU, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Michigan, and N.C. State."

Owens, who plans on attending the NIKE Camp at UM on April 4 and also the N.C. State summer camp, was at UM's Junior Day this past Saturday.

"I was out there with a lot of other guys," he said. "Basically, we had a chance to meet the coaches and watched all the UM athletes work out for the pro scouts. It was amazing. Just looking around and seeing how many pro people are watching those guys. Even the ones that aren't going to be the high picks or whatever, they're getting seen by all the coaches because there's always gonna be some great players coming out of UM."

The talented junior said he had a chance to talk to the UM coaches, as he mentioned three in particular.

"I talked to Greg Mark, Randy Shannon, and Larry Coker," he said. "Coach Coker's a good coach, a funny guy. He's someone I could see myself playing for. I also got a chance to see some of the other top guys out there -- like Kenny Phillips from Carol City."

Owens lists the Hurricanes as one of several programs he's currently considering.

"I like UM, Florida State, LSU, Pittsburgh, and some other ones," he said. "UM's my dream school though. If they offer me, that's where I'm going. They have a great program, the best in the country. They win national championships and they send most of their guys into the NFL. What more could you ask for -- especially when you're right up the road."

Owens will now turn his attention to getting ready for the season.

"We have a lot of good players coming back so my No. 1 goal this year is to win a state championship," he said. "All the personal stuff is nice but I want to win states more than anything else this year."

Owens carries a 2.7 GPA inside the classroom and will take the SAT for the first time next month.

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