The Bulls have a lot of young talent and are looking for some veteran help to bridge the gap as they come along. One player that fits the bill is Cade Cowdin, a top JUCO linebacker prospect out of College of the Desert in Cali had a big sophomore season in 2011, being named to the All-Central Division Western Conference First Team. The 6-foot-2, 225 pound prospect recently received an offer from USF, and will visit the Bulls this weekend.
"I just got offered from South Florida, and I'll be heading there this weekend for an official visit." said Cowdin. "I'm very excited to check out what they have to offer."
Cowdin is one of the top linebacker prospects from the junior college ranks and has been gaining interest from scouts across the country. USF recently jumped into the mix, and tried to get him in sooner, but time conflicts caused him to push it back.
"They've been recruiting me for a little while and wanted me to come out earlier, but I had a bowl game, and then there was thanksgiving," said Cowdin. "I can't wait to check out the school and the area."
The JUCO prospect talks about how the USF offer went down.
"They said they really like how I play and their defensive coordinator used to coach at Ohio State, and said I remind him of A.J. Hawk and some of the guys he coached," said Cowdin. "He said they've watched a lot of different linebackers and said they really like me the best and offered me a full ride."
Cowdin said he's been speaking with Coach Byron Thomas, defensive coordinator Mark Snyder and likes what they've been saying to him.
"I was real excited to get the offer, and they seemed real enthusiastic when they talked to me, so that got me even more excited about them," said Cowdin. "To be compared to other star linebackers he's coached was real nice to hear. They said they like how I come off the edge, and my aggressive style of play."
As a sophomore the 6-foot-2, 225 pound recruit is listed as having 69 tackles, 5.5 sacks, six tackles for loss and two interceptions this year for College of the Desert, but Cowdin said he's actually done better..
"They got my stats all wrong and also don't have my first two games included," said Cowdin. "I don't have the final stats yet, but my coach said they're off about 20-25 tackles, and I have at least 7-8 sacks, about 10 TFLs, and 3 interceptions. My best assets are how I can get side-line to sideline, I have great burst and can fly off the edge."
A native of Utah, Cowdin said he mostly follows west coast teams but started following USF once they showed interest in him.
"I didn't know a whole lot about the program, except they're a big school, and have a good football program they're building," said Cowdin. "I started to watch them and do some research to see how they play. "I like how they play and are a defensive minded team. I like how they play a fast aggressive style defense, and feel I'd fit in with their scheme very well."
"I'm pretty excited to take a visit there. I've never been to Florida and I'm looking forward to checking out what they have down there," said Cowdin. "I'm excited to see the campus, their facilities, and the whole area. I got a lot of buddies from there, and they tell me how nice it is.
Cowdin said he has no issues with playing across the country to continue his college career.
"No I have no problems with that at all, I'm talking with school with very diverse locations, so it doesn't matter," said Cowdin. "I'm just looking for the best fit for me."
The JUCO standout linebacker has offers from USF, Oregon State, Iowa State, Wyoming, UNLV, Nevada, New Mexico State, and Western Michigan, and also has heavy interest from Kentucky and Washington. "My top schools right now are Oregon State and South Florida. Kentucky is in my top three, but they don't accept online classes and I have a few, so they're still looking into it. I also like Nevada a lot," said Cowdin. "I'd say that Oregon State and USF are my tip two right now."
Cowdin talks about what puts the Bulls among his top two.
"I like how they're big school, and they're a team on the rise. Also the coaching staff and the fact that the defensive coordinator has coached a lot of great linebackers," said Cowdin. I want to go where I can coached by a great linebacker coach."
He'll be a December graduate, enroll in January and he will have three years to play two. So a decision will be coming quickly.
"I'll probably make my decision sometime next week, I got to do it by the 21st, so that's coming up," said Cowdin. "After my visit, I'll sit down and weigh everything out and see where's the best fit for me."
With a decision looking, Cowdin does know what factors are most important in making his choice.
"A lot of it depends on the coaching staff and the chemistry with them," said Cowdin. "Also the depth chart and what players are coming back. What kind of defense they run, if it's similar to what I play, and how I fit in and can be utilized."
Stay tuned with USFNation.com as we keep you updated on how Cowdin's official visit goes.
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With the USF football season over, the coaching staff now shifts its full attention to recruiting. With the early junior college signing period a few weeks away, the Bulls are looking at bringing in several top JUCO prospects and recently offered top linebacker Cade Cowdin who will be visiting this weekend.
USF recently offered top JUCO linebacker prospect who will be visiting this weekend.