VanDarius Cowan committed to Florida State for the second time right before the new year began, but his recruitment is far from over.
Cowan, a four-star linebacker from Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) High School, told SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi at The Nike Opening Regionals in Miami that Alabama and LSU, in that order, are also in his top three.
Cowan on Alabama: “Alabama is Alabama. They like big linebackers. Jeremy Pruitt, who was at Georgia, is still recruiting me now that he’s at Alabama.”
Cowan on LSU: “I started to like LSU because the first time they came down to Palm Beach County was to come to my school to offer me and one of my other teammates.”
The 6-foot-4, 218-pounder has heard the same message from both SEC West powers: “We want you. Hop on board.” When asked if either of those schools had a unique recruiting pitch to him, Cowan mentioned Alabama, but there was a caveat attached to it.
“I’ve talked to (Nick) Saban and he said there’s a possibility that I can come in and start as a freshman, but you know they just have to say what they have to say to get you there,” Cowan said.
Alabama’s chances at flipping Cowan improved after Jeremy Pruitt took over the defensive coordinator position for Kirby Smart, who is now Georgia’s coach. When Pruitt was at Georgia, Cowan listed the Bulldogs in the No. 2 position behind the Seminoles. Now UGA is on the outside looking in.
“Georgia is a good program and they just got that coach from Alabama (Smart) and they have a couple of my homeboys committed there,” Cowan said. “I have talked to (Smart) a couple of times on the phone, but I have to go up there and see him in person to see how he coaches to get an actual feeling.”
Cowan said he will take all five official visits and it’s likely that Florida State, Alabama and LSU will get one before he finalizes his decision.
He is rated as the nation’s No. 7 outside linebacker, per the 247Sports composite.