An influx of scholarship offers is the main culprit for the change in Owens' favorites situation. In addition to the five aforementioned schools, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound tight end from Charlotte Ardrey Kell has been offered by Duke, East Carolina, Maryland, Vanderbilt, and Virginia.
"[Attracting the schools is] his size, speed, and his great smile," former Ardrey Kell head football coach Marty Woolbright said with a laugh. "He presents himself very well, he speaks very well – he's a high character kid... He has great hands, he's willing to learn, [and] he works hard in the weight room. He's only going to get better."
Separating Owens' top five schools from the pack are their combination of athletics and education.
"They all have real good academic programs, plus all of them have winning [football] programs, as well," Owens said. "And I'd like to play in the ACC or SEC."
Owens is considering early graduation. Thus, he's looking to make a verbal commitment as soon as possible. However, he believes he'll need to take a few official visits this fall before making his decision.
In the meantime, Owens plans to attend a junior day at each of his top five schools. Previously, he has visited Duke, UNC twice, NC State, South Carolina three times, and Virginia.
Last June, Owens camped at UNC. He then returned to Chapel Hill for the UNC-ECU football game.
Owens regularly receives hand written letters from NC State assistant coach Jim Bridge, South Carolina assistant coach Jay Graham, and UNC assistant coaches Allen Mogridge and Everett Withers.
Withers recruits the Charlotte area for UNC, while Mogridge coaches UNC's tight ends and developed a strong relationship with Owens during camp.
"[Withers and Mogridge discuss] mainly how they use their tight ends," Owens said. "…They give me their facts and stats for their tight ends that year or that game. They also show me how they use their tight ends and how their program is on the up and up."
UNC, like Ardrey Kell, uses two types of tight ends in its offense: a ‘Y' (tight end) and an ‘H' (hybrid back).
At Ardrey Kell, Drew solely lines up at the ‘Y' tight end position.
"Drew does a great job at blocking," Woolbridge said. "So he could be a true tight end on the line. But also Drew has developed and does a great job when he flexes out and plays in space… He would not be one we'd use in the backfield [as an H-back], because of his height."
Owens ended his junior season with 14 catches for 221 yards and four touchdowns.