Former West Virginia Mountaineer Tyree Owens spent some time in Starkville this past week to see what the Bulldogs have to offer.

Mississippi State returns several senior defensive line for the 2016 football season. The Bulldogs will be counting on some talented underclassmen to help fill out the two deep chart, which brings some unique challenges. Looking ahead to the 2017 campaign, Coach Dan Mullen's team will be looking to replace several known commodities up front on defense. Several junior college prospects are being targeted as possibly reinforcements.

One of the more recent names on the Bulldog recruiting radar is Co-Lin defensive end Tyree Owens. The Oviedo, Florida native signed on with West Virginia after making a verbal commitment to Coach Dana Holgorsen and the staff at West Virginia during the summer before his senior year at Oviedo High.

Following a redshirt year in Morgantown, Owens left the WVU program and enrolled at a Mississippi junior college program.

"I am at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi now," Owens said. "It's been an adjustment for me, because I have never really been in a country scene like this. I am happy to have this opportunity though."

Owens (6-4, 265) projects as a defensive end on the next level. With Mississippi State's move to the the 3-4 defensive alignment, a weakside defensive end spot looks to be the proper position of projection. This past weekend, Owens made a trip to Starkville with a few teammates to see the Bulldogs in action.

"I had never been to Mississippi State before," Owens said. "It's a really nice campus and I liked all of the coaches. I talked some with Coach (Brian) Baker and Coach (Dan) Mullen. I know that they are looking for some defensive lineman. They have already offered me."

The Bulldogs are among the first to offer Owens since he returned to the available talent pool. That may prove to be a big part of things as the talented big man considers his college future.

"Mississippi State is one of the main ones showing me attention right now," Owens said. "I am learning about them and getting to know everybody. I want to go somewhere that I can play right away and have the chance to make an impact."

Owens was a full qualifier out of high school and is on pace to graduate from Co-Lin this December with his associates degree. Once that commencement is complete, Owens will be on the move once again.

"I am going to be at my new school in January," Owens said. "I am not sure where I am going to go yet. I am thinking about making my decision around the middle of the season. I feel like by then I will know who all is going to offer me and where I feel like I would fit in the best."

With several spots available in the annual scholarship limit of 25 for the 2016 recruiting cycle, Mississippi State is expected to be extremely active in the mid year enrollment phase that closes out the calendar year. Owens is expected to be a priority target for one of those spots due to team needs and his ability to enroll in January and take part in spring practice 2017. 

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