Cowart talks Rivals ranking, early leader

Cowart still has UF atop his leaderboard. (Photo by Zach Abolverdi/The Gainesville Sun)

ORLANDO — A five-star prospect competed in Saturday’s Class 6A state championship game, and his name wasn’t Dalvin Cook or Da’Vante Phillips of Miami Central.

Seffner Armwood’s Byron Cowart debuted last week at No. 4 nationally in the first Rivals100 ranking for the class of 2015.

“It’s one of my goals, but I try not to look into it because that’s how guys get cocky. I try to just stay humble,” said the nation’s top-ranked strongside defensive end.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Cowart hopes to reach the No. 1 spot in the future by putting on more pounds, but Saturday’s 52-7 loss weighed more heavily on his shoulders.

“Me being that highly ranked and getting beat like this, that’s the only thing that affects me,” he said. “I feel like the guy on the team that could have made more plays.”

Cowart named Florida his leader at Friday Night Lights, and the Gators still hold the top spot despite their 4-8 season in 2013.

“Just coach (Brad) Lawing and the defense. I feel like I’m home there. I like coach (Will) Muschamp,” Cowart said when asked why UF is his favorite.

“Everybody has ups and downs. That’s the first time they’ve been down like that, and every team goes through it.”

Cowart named Alabama, Auburn and Georgia as the biggest threats to Florida. He plans to announce his commitment at the Under Armour All-American Game in 2015 after taking his five official visits.

He will base his decision on the following factors.

“If I feel home there,” Cowart said, “and if they have everything that I need to be successful.”


  1. Zack……

    Did Muschamp and Robinson visit Cook while they were in the Miami area on Sunday? Or did Cook shut down his recruitment while they were there? If the later, Cook would be sending a very strong message that he is not going to be a Gator, don’t you think?

  2. Why talk about 2015 when the odds are not great that this coaching staff will not be around then? How many games does Muschamp need to win to keep his job? Some people expect no less than an SEC East title. Now that Driskel is the only viable choice at quarterback, will there be any improvement on offense? Does it matter who is the coordinator? Who are the jimmys and joes that are going to be playmakers?

  3. @Snowprint…..

    Muschamp is going to be the head coach at Florida for many years to come. And I think they will do some really good things in those years. I am excited about the change of offensive schemes and I expect good things from an OC and OL coach who are on the same page. I am sure the new OC will have a lot of input on who the new OL coach will be. The Gator defense will remain strong under Muschamp, Durkin (if he does not go to Bowling Green) and Robinson. GO GATORS.

  4. I’d like to agree with ya Tampa, and what you’re saying definitely isn’t out of the realm of possibility. But there is just too many unknowns about next year for me to be sure of it. It’s one of the reasons I’m super excited and really worried at the same time. Next year is a real huge ?. We could go winless in the SEC or we could go undefeated. It could literally go either way. I think it all hinges on the OL and OC hires, and injuries of course. Either way it should be interesting

  5. New OC and New OL coaches in my mind it means OPEN COMPETITION, which SHOULD lead to tough competition and the Very best players on the field that have given their all and WANT to be the ones that represent the UF on the field. Of course this could go either way, we have a really fired up, ready to go bunch and rejuvenate the program or it could cause more crippling injuries that keeps us i the state we are right now. I choose to think, If the Offense goes all open during Spring and Fall ball we are going to kick some A$$ next year. We have the TALENT, let’s just hope we get the COACHES to go along with the talent and get this train back on the tracks and moving NORTH BOUND to ATLANTA! GO GATORS!!!!

  6. Which season will be Will Muschamp’s benchmark season and which will be seen as the abbération, 2012 or 2013? You can choose either one. I think ’13 was simply a lost season due mostly to the deluge if injuries and a poor mix of offensive philosophy and personnel. Let’s go back to 2012 and add a productive offense. That could result in a championship year. That’s what these top recruits see and think. Muschamp’s always going to have his detractors — even SOS did, too — but he’ll be immensely successful over the long haul for UF. Go Gators!