Owens Connecting with U-M Coaches

Orange Park (Fla.) Oakleaf LB, Darrion Owens is one on the top targets on Michigan's expanding linebacker board, and the interest is definitely mutual. The rising linebacker prospect chatted with GoBlueWolverine recently about the fast rapport he has built with Greg Mattison and Roy Manning, his visit plans, his decision criteria, and much much more.

Darrion Owens is a man of few words off the field, but when he steps on it his game speaks volumes.

“When people watch me they see I like to hit hard,” Owens said confidently.  “They see I just love the game.”

College coaches see a 6-4, 220 lb. havoc-wreaker they hope will add his 4.59 speed to their respective defenses.  At the moment Sunshine State star is a long way away from determining which of his 20-plus offers he’ll accept.  He is content simply taking in all of the attention. However, there are a few programs that have started to creep up his list.  Michigan has emerged as one of them.

“They’ve come down twice this spring,” Owens said regarding Wolverine staff members.  “I really like Michigan.  The coaches are cool guys.  Michigan is a high school on my list.”

This far his physical interaction with the Maize & Blue has been limited due to NCAA contact rules, but his phone correspondences with them have left extremely positive impressions.

“Coach Mattison is a down to earth guy,” Owens stated.  “It feels like everything he was saying… he wasn’t just telling me what I wanted to hear.  I really liked that.”

“Coach Manning came to the school and stayed all day.  He watched us practice, he watched tape, and talked to coach.   When we talked (on the phone) I could tell he is a cool guy.  He reminds me of my brother.”

Those burgeoning bonds have helped assure Michigan a place in Owens’ visit plan.  Now he just has to figure out when he’ll make his way to campus.  The same goes for schools like Ohio State, Michigan State, Miami, Tennessee, Louisville, West Virginia, UCF, and USF.

“I might just visit the closer schools in the summer and then take official visits (to the programs that are further away in the fall),” he said.  “Right now I’m not really too focused on recruiting. I’m thinking about getting better and helping out my team.  I think I’ll find out all the schools that are high on my list after I visit and get to see the campuses and all.”

A number of factors will be key in determining that leaderboard, but one that will have no bearing is distance from home.

“My parents don’t care how far away I go,” he explained.  “I’ll look at how comfortable I feel when I’m around the campus, the coaches and the players. (I’ll also look at) playing time and the weight lifting program.”

In the final analysis another endearing quality for the schools on Owens’ list could be the quality of their recruiting classes.

Said Owens, “that’s something I look at.  I want to play with guys that I know are just as good so we can be dominating people.”

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