The nation's No. 1 overall football prospect is interested in UGA but a family issue is clouding things for the Bulldogs. Byron Cowart is working to fix that issues and visit Georgia this summer.
BALTIMORE -- The No. 1 college football prospect in the nation, defensive end Byron Cowart (Seffner, Fla./Armwood), said he wants to check out the University of Georgia.
"I can't lie, when they had Knowshon Moreno, I was in love with those guys," Cowart said.
The only problem is that his mother doesn't seem to want him there.
If that sounds like déjà vu, well it is. In 2013, the nation's top player was defensive end Robert Nkemdiche. He attended Grayson High School, just 45 minutes from UGA and professed that he too would like to go to Georgia (among other schools). Nkemdiche's mother wanted him to play with his older brother Denzel Nkemdiche at Ole Miss. Nkemdiche is now a Rebel.
Cowart's mother has nothing against the University of Georgia, but she has reservations about the some folks that live there.
"Family issues," Cowart said. "My mother doesn't want me really to be close to her side of the family. Because it's just me and her so we don't go. You notice when you are starting to do things in life good, a lot of people try to come back into your life. So being the fact that [UGA is] in Georgia and her family is in Georgia I'm hoping that won't be an issue. We are trying to get her up there so she could just see. Because I know what Georgia can offer. I know Georgia can offer a lot defensively."
Cowart has yet to visit the Bulldogs but that could change this summer. Georgia is also recruiting one of his close friends, defensive end CeCe Jefferson (Glen St. Mary, Fla./Baker County) who plans to visit the Bulldogs again.
"I want to go up there with CeCe," Cowart said. "He has already been up there but we should go together. We are a package deal anyway so we might as well hit some of these schools together."
The 6-foot-3, 257-pound senior said that for Georgia to have any chance with him, Cowart has to get his mother to visit the Bulldogs. So far she has not even spoken to Georgia head coach Mark Richt.
Look for that to change.
"All I have to tell her is, 'Mom, Georgia is calling you' and she will answer," Cowart said. "They are coming. I know they show love but the most [important] thing is to get my mom up there so she can see that when you are at a college level, they will protect me. She doesn't want me to be distracted. When I think of 'family' I just think of me and her. And my football team."
As for the package deal, Cowart thinks he and Jefferson would be a destructive combination.
"Hopefully we can both play on the field at the same time," Cowart said. "We are going to push each other. If I get a sack, 'Hey, what you doing over there CeCe?' I mean the way it is looking, if we stay together, we should go No. 1 and No. 2 in the draft. The goals are set that high."
Cowart says he "can have a little fun and visit these schools" after July 10. When Jefferson visited to Athens recently, he called Cowart to report some of his findings.
"He loved it," Cowart said. "He said, 'I thought Florida State and Oregon had the best dorms, but Georgia has some good dorms.' So I want to see."